Shot Show 2023 opens with the annual Industry Day at the Range

By James E. Green

Jan. 16, 2023-Cloudy weather, drizzle and persistent winds could not curtail the considerable enthusiasm as hundreds of media professionals enjoyed the annual spectacle of Industry Day at the Range.

The American Flag flew over a cloudy, windy day at the 2023 Industry Day at the Range

Traditionally held the Monday before the kickoff of the world’s biggest firearms and outdoor sports trade show, Industry Day allows sporting media and exhibitors an exclusive sneak peak at the newest products and services the sport shooting industry has to offer.

A unique opportunity, Industry Day is a live-fire range event where, under the close supervision of highly trained safety officers, members of the working press are afforded the opportunity to shoot all of the weapon systems on display.

Coming all the way from Fall River, Massachusetts, gun shop owner Gorden Williams shared in all the excitement. “I come from a very strict state where many of these firearms are not available. Many of the (Class 3) weapons were shooting here are inaccessible in Massachusetts.” Class 3 refers to firearms and peripherals under strict federal control, and include such items as suppressors/silencers, short-barreled rifles and automatic weapons. When asked to summarize the opportunity to fire these weapons, Williams added, “It’s truly a magical experience.”

Sniper rifles, high-tech handguns and cutting edge suppressor (silencer) systems were on full display, and a constant cacophony of muted reports could be heard all afternoon. “Thank god for these great cans (slang for ear protection) or I’d be deaf by lunchtime!” proclaimed Minnesota journalist Gavin Navarro.

Aside from firearms, several less-lethal platforms, geared to the military/law enforcement and personal defense sector were also being showcased on Industry Day. Launching hardened polymer projectiles and payloads such as tear gas and pepper spray, these items offer an effective, viable option for what one exhibitor termed “adversary abatement.”

Less lethal options are enhancing the safety and effectiveness of law enforcement operations nationwide

The inclement weather held off until about 1:30, then a rain and lightning day cut the days festivities short. To quote an exhausted but enthusiastic shooter at the Kel Tec booth, “eh it’s probably for the best. I haven’t been able to feel my trigger finger for an hour. What a great day!”

Stay tuned for four more great days of coverage as the Shot Show goes live Tuesday through Friday. For a shooting enthusiast, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

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