In a convention culture that has been ravaged by the pandemic, Covid protocols and general paranoia, Las Vegas has suffered perhaps more profoundly than any other city in America. One notable casualty is that most-American of conventions: the Shot Show.
The premier gathering for the shooting sports, outdoor enthusiasts, military and law enforcement professionals, the Shot Show attracts thousands of exhibitors, civilian contractors, industry personalities and sporting media to Las Vegas every January…with the notable exception of 2021.
Due to the health concerns associated with the Covid pandemic, the 2021 Shot Show was deadlined as a live event, reduced to a virtual platform to the profound disappointment of shooting enthusiasts across the globe.
Despite spiking cases of Covid variants, the 2022 Shot Show has returned to Las Vegas in its live-event glory and, as always kicks off with Industry day at the range. Traditionally held on Martin Luther King Jr. day and the Monday before official show kickoff, this unique event represents the largest, most comprehensive one-day gathering of outdoor media and industry exhibitors in the genre. Press representatives and select buyers are afforded a special treat: 8 hours of shooting the newest innovations in pistol, shotgun and long-range firearms.
The unique opportunity certainly isn’t lost on many of them participants. Los Angeles journalist Henry Savage, who is a member of the storied Savage firearms lineage, eagerly voiced his enthusiasm: “last year was tough. For all of us. I, like most people are just glad to be healthy and back in the game.”
Like many attendees, Savage expressed a level of enthusiasm and gratitude that transcends the mere activity of target shooting. “In the end; it’s not about pulling triggers, it’s about the fine people you meet here.” Glancing at the platform housing the sniper rifle he was about to fire, Savage added with a sly smile, “but the guns ain’t bad either.”
While Industry Day at the Range is a wonderful celebration of the shooting sports and a networking delight, safety precautions and attention to proper protocols is emphasized. Masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning stations were a noticeable addition to the normal trappings of ear and eye protection, posted safety protocols and watchful range personnel. “It’s certainly different (this year). But this industry has always focused on the safety and well-being of participants” Range officer Mark Roman stated. “The precautions in place make sense and will help keep all of us safe.”
As the light of day faded and the event moved toward its conclusion, the return of the Shot Show and Industry Day at the Range will be remembered as a safe success, and hopefully a symbol of an eventual return to normalcy. One exhibitor captured the sentiment of the entire crowd as he was boarding the last departing shuttle of the day: “we’ve had good days and bad days but today….was a good day!”
Be sure to visit sincitypress.com for continuing coverage of the 2022 Shot Show experience!