Top 10 Reasons SHOT Show Is Awesome

The range portion of SHOT Show is equally epic. What you see here is about 10% of Media Day at the Range.

The range portion of SHOT Show is equally epic. What you see here is about 10% of Media Day at the Range.

SHOT Show is an annual pilgrimage of fun, friends, work, pain, exhaustion, more work, more fun and certainly a lot more pain.

It’s infinite, seemingly boundless and more crowded than a buy one get one free bordello, but you still manage to frequently run into people you know among the 68,000 attendees.

I love it.

I got to thinking, which is always dangerous, about why it’s my favorite event of the year and came up with this list…

Where else but SHOT Show is a tactical raptor not even remotely out of place?

Where else but SHOT Show is a tactical raptor not even remotely out of place?

1. The people. There’s always a low-end, like the guy walking around with a t-shirt that said “Vagitarian.” Fortunately, the true class acts use most of the oxygen in the Sands Convention Center. Like this year’s Energizer Bunny, Pro Shooter Todd Jarrett. He was everywhere, all the time. Must be cloned… And this years Best Disposition Award goes to Team Smith & Wesson’s Julie Golob. I know she had an exhausting schedule, but you couldn’t catch her without a glowing smile. Theodoric of Nooge spottings are always a popular pastime and the rocker didn’t disappoint this year – he was all over, gun groupies in tow. Architect of the LaPierreCare Affordable Gun Act, NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre made time for some floor walking. But the very best part is catching up with industry friends – especially the ones you haven’t met yet.

2. Truth in reporting. It’s a refreshing break from the mainstream media. I looked and looked, but to no avail – Piers Morgan and Chris Matthews were nowhere to be found. Also, you’re too busy to turn on a TV, so you get a much-needed break from the state network propaganda political machine. Oh, and the press room? I did some quick math and estimated that the average reporter there owns more firearms than pairs of socks. My kind of company for sure.

3. Gun Control Debate. The only gun control debate was whether you can fit one or two fingers on the new Beretta Pico without the magazine extension.

4. New inventions! While new products from established companies are well publicized, SHOT Show is where you find the startups with a new idea. For example, this year, I ran across LabRadar. They offer a portable radar kit to track bullet velocity. Brilliant. Or perhaps Adaptive Tactical – makers of the Sidewinder Venom drum magazine kit for Mossberg pump shotguns. Can you say home defense innovation?

A low-rider mobile armory? Why not?

A low-rider mobile armory? Why not?

5. I spy. If you looked really, really carefully, you just might spot tiny stickers of flying, ummm, body parts, placed strategically by Top Shot’s Chris Cerino.

6. Dinner. Yes, there are lot’s of great dining opportunities in Vegas, but I’m talking about the NSSF State of the Industry Dinner. I started doing this a couple of years ago and now it’s a “must do” on our schedule. It’s a great opportunity to dine and schmooze with a couple thousand of your best friends. And the entertainment rocks. This year, it was the magic duo of Penn & Teller who pleased the crowd with a dose of humor and their always impressive magic bullets trick. They must know their audience!

7. Perspective. The announcement of a drum magazine for pump shotguns (Adaptive Tactical) was perceived as a good idea, not the end of all life on planet earth, as might be reported by MSNBC.

An honorable mention addition to the list might be the spontaneous happy hours that break out at many booths every afternoon, like this Crimson Trace 20th Anniversary celebration.

An honorable mention addition to the list might be the spontaneous happy hours that break out at many booths every afternoon, like this Crimson Trace 20th Anniversary celebration.

8. Wagyu beef. Wolfgang Puck had the foresight to open a Cut restaurant in the hallway between my hotel room and the show floor. Can you say steak butter? I don’t mean butter-flavored steak, I mean a steak with the consistency and flavor of warm butter. Thanks for lightening my wallet, Wolfgang. #SteakGasm

9. Contagion. It’s the most fun way there is to get the cold or flu. Picking up the same guns as 67,999 other people is a surefire way to do your own live rendition of the movie Outbreak.

10. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) crew. These folks kill it. Every year. Having done far too many trade shows from the vendor side, I know exactly what it takes to organize and pull off an event of this magnitude. Yet you’d be hard pressed to find an NSSF staffer not wearing a big grin and looking to help you find your way. Not only is SHOT Show the place for vendors and gun retailers to meet and do business for the coming year, it generates “profits” for the NSSF that are turned around into productive programs like Project ChildSafe. Gotta love it. Thank you NSSF!

P.S. – If you’d like to check out more photos of SHOT Show 2014, just check out our Facebook SHOT Show album. We’re also adding pictures to our Pinterest SHOT Show board.

Book Review: Shoot! Your Guide to Shooting and Competition by Julie Golob

shoot-julie-golobThree guesses as to who wrote this book. Here are a few hints:

  • She roasts her own coffee. We’re still waiting for her to send us some of her famous “Powder Burn in Major Power Factor” roast…
  • Rumor has it that she uses a fembot body double to help master her busy schedule
  • She has acquired all five Sankara stones as seen in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

You guessed it – none other than Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob. Learn a little more about Julie from our recent interview – and check out the book. It’s a great resource for both new and experienced shooters.

Available Here Shoot! Your Guide to Shooting and Competition by Julie Golob

Coffee Talk with Julie Golob, and Her Julie-Double

Today we continue our quest to speak with fun and interesting people in the shooting industry. We’d like to thank Julie Golob, coffee aficionado, for sharing some time with us. In case you don’t know, in addition to roasting her own Major Power Factor coffee, she also shoots at a lot of things. So we hear…

My Gun Culture: Congratulations on completion of your first book: SHOOT – Your Guide to Shooting and Competition! How on earth did you find time to do that? We’re guessing you had the laptop out between stages at Bianchi. Or did you have a Julie-double competing at some of the matches?

Julie: Thanks so much! You know… the Julie-double was a great idea at first until I realized she didn’t write so well and she didn’t win matches! I had to let her go in Colby Donaldson style and tell her she “fired her last shot.” In all seriousness though, writing a book turned out to be much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. I had to tackle it like I would a checklist to stay on track. There were definitely a lot of late nights and I am so glad to be done reading all the different sports’ rulebooks!

My Gun Culture: We’ve had similar troubles. Fembot Julie-doubles are great at shooting but kind of lousy at office work. If you had to pick one piece of advice from your new book “Shoot” that you’re most passionate about, what would that be?

Julie: What I want people to take away from the book is that safety is first and foremost whenever dealing with firearms and to go ahead, get out there and try your hand at shooting. There are so many shooting sports and I believe there’s one suited for everyone. Go for it, be safe and have fun!

My Gun Culture: While flying over Montana recently, I could have sworn I smelled coffee beans roasting. Any ideas why?

Julie: You did??? Well it wasn’t from my house! Book writing and training kept me from that hobby this year but now that you mention it that’s on my winter to do list. I LOVE it! I even roasted batches for Christmas gifts one year with signature roasts – double tap roast, powder burn, etc. in major and minor power factor, of course! If you love coffee and you’ve never had fresh roasted beans, I highly recommend it!

My Gun Culture: Just hypothetically speaking, if your daughter follows in your footsteps, but winds up shooting for, oh, say Team Glock or Team Sig, will you still attend her wedding?

Julie: Absolutely! You just won’t see any of those plastic gun key chains as wedding favors, the reception won’t be at the Sig academy and the mother of the bride will be in Smith & Wesson blue with a splash of Benelli red, of course.

My Gun Culture: Speaking of weddings, we couldn’t help but notice that your maiden and married names both start with a “G.” Call us skeptical, but doesn’t this mean you didn’t have to change the monograms on your towels? This wasn’t a marriage of convenience was it?

Julie: Too funny! It’s actually more than just the ‘G’ part. I only had to drop the “ski” and add a “b.”  I remember when I first met him, I thought, “wow… our names are so similar!” I prefer to think that it means that we are meant for each other though. :)

My Gun Culture: Recently you won the USPSA Ladies Revolver Championship, making you the only competitor in history to win National Championships in all six USPSA divisions.  Some people are saying this is a result of you possessing all five Sankara Stones from Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. As these stones are known to help fight the forces of evil, that seems to be a plausible explanation. While there are no current USPSA rulings related to use of Sankara Stones, many are concerned about the precedent. How do you respond to these accusations?

Julie: Yes, I admit to having connections in the government, but when I put in the request to acquire the five Sankara stones to commemorate my wins in five divisions of USPSA it just made sense. After all, they were just sitting there in that big warehouse next to the Ark collecting dust. Even with the shipping, excise tax and dangerous goods fees it was well worth it and come to find out, tax deductible! I admit to having an edge over the other person in consideration, to house the stones. Some guy named, Robert Leatham had also applied. Who’s that guy? But, being former AMU (Army Marksmanship Unit) I had the edge. To anyone who has a beef with it, you carry those things around in your shooting bag at a Nationals. They may “glow” and all, but they easily weigh fifteen pounds each. Add to it the ammo, water, snacks, etc. I had to train for months just to carry my bag! Truth be told, I am sending them back.  I’m all into the number six now.

My Gun Culture: We’ve noticed that you’ve been competing in 3 Gun Competitions recently. If there were a 5 Gun match, what would your other two choices be?

Julie: That’s easy! Machine gun, preferably the gatling gun and then a cannon shoot. I SO want to shoot a cannon.

My Gun Culture: I have a great lead for you on that. Last spring, the folks at hosted a mega-shoot event and I was able to shoot a Napoleonic Field Artillery cannon. Shoots a 12 pound cannonball you know, and does a heckuva job on old cars. I think it would work great for you, but you’d have to talk the folks at Smith & Wesson into springing for a pretty hefty 4 wheeler to lug it around the matches…

We’d like to thank Julie Golob for taking time out of her busy schedule shooting the heck out of various things to do this interview. We hope you enjoyed learning a few new and interesting things about the only woman, man, or child to win National Titles in all six USPSA divisions.

Don’t forget to check out Julie’s new book, available now!

Legal Disclosures about articles on My Gun Culture