Dealers Highlight Potential Top Sellers
By Carolee Anita Boyles
Just like previous years, SHOT Show 2017 was the place to be in January. The mood was upbeat, aisles were crowded and booths were busy as attendees worked their way through more than 1,600 exhibitors to look for the year’s new products and always popular best sellers.
On the floor and after the show, Shooting Industry asked both retailers and exhibitors to discuss their favorite products and exhibitors and to point out what they thought was new and trendy at this year’s show.
Some retailers noted more than just products.
“I attended the Executive Management seminar and I really liked it,” said Christopher Lapinski, operations manager at Last Stand Tactical in Sacramento, Calif. “It was a really good class.”
Barbara Wagenknecht, one of the owners of Ozark Armory in Lincoln, Mo., liked some of the changes to the New Products area. “You could scan the product information with your phone and get additional details,” she said. “It was a really useful feature.”
Wagenknecht also liked SHOT Show NEXT up on the third floor. “It’s been a nice addition to the show,” she added.
Montana Rifle Co. Mountain Snow Rifle
“Jesse James Firearms had a really nice semi-automatic rifle he had made for California,” relayed Chuck Cunningham, sales manager for Annie’s Guns in Fremont, Calif. “It’s in 5.56 with a 16-inch barrel. As of January 1, customers can’t buy an MSR-style rifle in California anymore, so the one he built is the same principal — but is legal to buy in the state. LWRCI and Stag Arms have done the same thing.”
At Montana Rifle Company, sales rep Jeremy Ohs said the newest rifle is the Mountain Snow rifle.
“It has a blue hydrodipped stock in a ‘Kryptek’ pattern,” he noted. “We’re offering it in multiple cartridges, including .223, which is a new caliber for us.”
Howard Avery, owner of Avery’s Shooter Supply in Kingman, Ariz., was impressed with some of Desert Eagle’s new offerings.
“There was a compact .45 semi-auto they had there with some cool grips on it,” he noted. For its 30th anniversary, Magnum Research has introduced a new and improved look to the Baby Desert Eagle III, with polymer or steel frame and a slimmer grip profile.
Lapinski was looking for things he can sell in his home state.
“We saw Stag Arms has a new line equipped with a CQR stock — it’s pretty cool,” he said. “We also saw a similar stock at Black Rain Ordnance.”
Paul Davidson, owner of Davidson’s Firearms in Henderson, Nev., liked a striker-fired 1911 by Hudson Mfg.
“The firearm they’ve come up with seems like it’s going to be pretty smooth,” he observed. “It’s the most innovative thing I’ve seen in several years.”
Hornady ELD Match
In ammo, Cunningham looked at Hornady’s new ELD bullets.
“They’re making those, since long distance shooting is the new big sport coming on,” he said. “Shooters have found out if you use a bullet with a polymer tip when you’re shooting extreme long distances, it will actually change shape and aerodynamics. Hornady has made a bullet with a tip that looks like polymer but maintains its shape when you’re shooting longer distances, so competition shooters will have a more accurate shot.”
At Black Hills Ammunition, Marketing and Customer Service Specialist Mike Wright reported in rifle ammunition, the company has changed from the Hornady A-Max Bullet to the new Hornady ELD Match and ELD-X bullets.
“In pistol rounds, we’ve brought out a new round called the Honey Badger,” he said. “The Honey Badger is a vicious little animal; it isn’t afraid to take on anything, and this line of ammunition is the same way. It’s an all-copper projectile and its design will give it deep penetration, create a huge wound cavity and retain 100 percent of its weight. So it’s ideal for personal protection, law enforcement and hunting.”
Burris Signature HD Binoculars
Burris has introduced a new spotting scope called the Signature HD.
“We also have new Signature HD binoculars, and new Prym 1 camouflage and Blackout finishes for our MTAC line of riflescopes,” relayed Josh Lawley, Burris warranty/repair manager. “Our new RT-6 riflescope is a 1x-6x 24mm with an integrated throw lever.”
OPGAL Optronic Industries is an Israeli company making a mark in innovative optics. According to Marketing Director Roy Israely, the company has introduced a thermal camera that works on a smartphone, called the Therm-app.
“It allows your smartphone to be able to see at night, under any weather conditions and any light conditions,” he stated. “This technology has been around for about three years, but now we’re offering a higher resolution version of it. It can turn your phone into a thermal scope for your rifle.”
Inteliscope is also turning smartphones into optics.
“We have a cell phone mount able to give you compass direction and windage from a local weather station,” said Jason Giddings, owner of Inteliscope. “You can shoot video with it, and it has a flashlight and strobe.” Additionally, it gives GPS location and has a custom ammo library.
Steel Will Onrush
Several knifemakers left an impression on SHOT Show attendees.
“Benchmade had a special edition knife out,” observed Matthew Nesbit, owner of Outlet Firearms in Grove City, Pa. “It was called the Bali-Song.”
“I liked quite a few of the knives from Steel Will,” added Sean Norris, owner of Edgeworks Knife & Supply in Frederick, Md. “They were very nicely built, and had great price tags. Most of them were general, everyday pocket knives.”
Norris also liked some of the knives from Columbia River.
“They had several pieces designed by Jesper Voxnaes,” he said. “They’re very well built and thought out, and are almost exact copies of his custom knives.”
Although Marttiini Oy has been in business since 1928 and is known for its association with Rapala fishing lures, this was their first visit to the SHOT Show. All of their knives show the influence of the Arctic environment, and utilize such materials as reindeer and moose antler and fine woods.
“We have stainless steel, carbon steel and Damascus blades,” said Managing Director Paivi Ohvo. “We have knives for outdoor hunting and fishing use, and also collectible knives.”
Other Show Highlights
Burt Yellin, owner of High & Lonesome Enterprises in Bennet, Colo., liked an Echo Trigger system from Fostech Outdoors that fires when you both pull and release. The trigger has three settings: in safe mode it will not fire; in semi-auto mode, it fires only when the trigger is pulled, and in echo mode, it fires on both the pull and the release.
“It’s really well made,” Yellin observed. “It has a very smooth action.”
Davidson liked some of the technology he saw on the floor to help retailers boost business.
“I saw people trying to open up into the world of the electronic 4473,” he observed.
At Otis, Sales Specialist Wendy Moser informed the company is coming out with new single-caliber kits, which have a re-engineered T-handle.
“We also have our Defender series, which is similar to what we make for the U.S. military but now is available for hunters and shooters,” she added. “The Defender series comes with a Ripcord for one pass cleaning; this is the first time we’ve offered the Ripcord.”
Greg Felder, owner of Felder Firearms in Corcoran, Calif., liked the new Sitka camo pattern — which debuted in January.
“Optifade was the original pattern,” he said. “Then they came out with one for duck hunters and then another high country pattern. This year they introduced Optifade Waterfowl Timber.”
At Browning Gifts, Sales Manager Bruce Thompson stated the company puts the Browning logo on various kinds of drinkware.
“We do a lot of shot glasses, pints and wine glasses,” he added.
Joe Ohanian, owner of Ammo Dogs in Fresno, Calif., liked the Yellow Jacket.
“It’s a cell phone case with a Taser built into it,” he said. “It makes a lot of sense because you always have your cell phone with you. When you deploy it, it sends a GPS signal to five people you have programmed into your phone so they know exactly where you are, and it automatically dials 911.”
In the Elite Iron booth, Project Manager Dale Poling highlighted the company’s new .32 ACP titanium suppressor for a Colt pistol.
“We also have a new 9mm short, and a new suppressor for a bolt-action rifle,” he shared. “We’re seeing a lot of crossover to the hunting market, and there are a lot of states permitting suppressors for hunting now, for a lot of reasons.”
These standouts are just a handful of the hundreds of products that made their debut at SHOT Show 2017. What would you add to this list? Send us an email at email@example.com.
Black Hills Ammunition
Black Rain Ordnance
Columbia River Knife and Tool
Hornady Mfg. Inc.
Jesse James Firearms Unlimited
Montana Rifle Co.
Opgal Optronic Industries
Steel Will Knives