Heading Off To The SHOT Show Soon

Just to let you know this blog will likely not be too active during the coming week because we will be off to the 35th annual SHOT Show held in Las Vegas.   Because there is too much to see and do at SHOT, several years back I decided how I wasn’t going to spend precious time sitting down writing about the experience when I should be living it.   Sorry, that’s my policy.

In the meantime, however, I urge you to follow my Twitter feed:

www.Twitter.com/jim7226  (@jim7226)

And/or LIKE my Sportsman’s Blog Facebook Page:


as this is where I will be actively communicating the SHOT Show experience in realtime.

I do, however, understand the desire to hear about what new products are being introduced and may be on the marketplace soon.   Therefore, I urge you to also follow these two blogs as they do an exceptional job of delivering the new firearms products information quickly and with skillful knowledge on the topic:



Viva Las Vegas!

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Thoughts And Observations From My Local Gun Show

In a few days I will be heading out to the 2013 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) held in Las Vegas, but today I thought it would be interesting to stop by a local gun show where the buying public traffic was rather brisk and certainly actively engaged to purchase.   I was in Rochester, Minnesota attending the Minnesota Weapon Collectors Association‘s first gun show of the year.


Most of the day it was elbow to elbow with gun show attendees at this event.

I should note that I have been attending this gun show for over 35 years.   I don’t make it every year, but I do try to make it most years as it is one of the bigger gun shows in southern Minnesota.   Today, the crowd I witnessed was hands down the busiest I have ever seen.   It appears with details on possible new gun control measures being disclosed as early as next Tuesday, many folks were not about to delay making their purchases much longer.

There was certainly much talk among the show attendees of what firearms restrictions might be in the near future.   Even though it was a rather solemn mood among those in attendance, I also witnessed a deeper resolve among nearly everyone that is starting to reach the boiling point.   Indeed, I did hear one dealer admit to a customer that we are inching closer to a point where gun owners may need to take it beyond just standing up and being heard.

Prices for high capacity magazines were quite reminiscent of what they were back during Federal Assault Weapons Ban, a law which sunset back in September 2004.   Magazines holding more than ten rounds that could have been purchased a few months ago for $20–$30 were now being offered for sale more in the $60–$75+ range.   I even seen one dealer peddling very well used 30rd AR-15 magazines for $50, although other dealers had them for sale in the $30–$35 range.


The public seemed to be in a buying mood despite the fact prices appear to be on the rise.

I guess the upshot what I took away from this show is there are no bargains to be had any longer.   Oh, sure, there may be bargains by today’s standards, but today’s standards are much different than they’ve been for many years.   It appears we are entering a new period in gun sales with a market that is highly volatile depending on what legislation may be pending or what rumor seems to be gaining traction.

One thing I did notice which I thought was sort of odd was the lack of Glocks.   Admittedly, I am not savvy when it comes to all facets of gun sales, but peering around the masses of people I sensed that Glocks of all models seemed to be more scarce than I would have expected.   Again, this may have just been an anomaly and may not be the actual case.


Some of the busiest dealers were those folks who cater to gun magazine sales. This show vendor had hundreds of mags like this for nearly any kind of gun.

I did hear several dealers discuss how certain ammunition is nearly impossible to get these days.   In fact, I preface this with a RUMOR ALERT, but one dealer in describing what his factory rep told him was that 5.56mm bulk ammo orders are so backed up that delivery wouldn’t be until 2015.   Yup, 2015!   Again, this comment was hearsay, but it exemplifies the sort of buzz that folks were hearing at the show.

In closing, I guess the one thing that surprised me was that there still are AR-15’s to be purchased.   I’ve heard some dealers say they just don’t have any as their inventory has been wiped out last month.   I suppose in some cases those modern sporting rifles were commanding a good price—probably nearly twice what they once were, but they are still available even at public shows like this one.

So, have you been to any gun shows lately?   What is the mood of your favorite gun dealer?   No doubt about it…we are living during interesting times that promise to only get more interesting in the days and weeks to come.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Expect Rumors To Be Flying During 2013 SHOT Show

There’s a certain tension in the air.   Indeed, the future holds lots of uncertainty for those of us with an affinity to the guns and shooting culture.   What, if anything, will be happening in Washington during coming weeks to put a noose on our Second Amendment rights.   Is change coming, or can we ride out the growing fervor calling for increased restrictions on what guns and accessories we can legally purchase or own.

As we enter this new year there are many more questions than there are answers as to where new gun legislation might take us—both federally and at the state/local levels.   If you’re like me, lately your e-mail is filled with warnings and pleas for money from various groups leading the pro-gun fight.

I can’t help but imagine how this year at SHOT Show® there will be an unusual vibe in the air because of this strange political climate.   Oh, sure, there was a sense of it back in 2009 when Barack Obama first took office, but that year our elected officials weren’t necessarily feeling empowered to take pot shots at our gun rights.   This year is much different.

When the doors to SHOT open I fully anticipate a great deal of discussion amongst the myriad of attendees.   Much like the FBI sting operation back in 2010 that netted some 22 people from various companies, that news spread like a wildfire at SHOT and often the story was stretched well beyond reality.

Now, I’m not saying or even predicting that anything that grandiose will occur at this year’s SHOT, but it’s hard to get 60,000+ people together in a small area and not feel the electricity in the air.   Part of that excitement comes in what I call “word on the show floor.”   That’s right, spend any amount of time at SHOT and you will hear the “buzz.”

RumorThis year, more so than other years, I expect there to be lots of chatter about gun control effects, product availability, sky-rocketing prices on certain products, to name but a few.   The challenge with hearing so-called “facts” by word of mouth is by the time they pass through your ears the truth may have already been distilled out of the rumor.   To put it another way, many times what is heard on the show floor may only have a hint of the truth remaining by the time you hear it.

Bottom line is not to repeat tidbits of information until they have been verified true.   Oh, don’t get me wrong…I enjoy listening to the attendee chatter that permeates all 630,000 square feet of SHOT.   It can be intriguing.   It can be surprising.   It most certainly is entertaining.

Yet, this year—especially with the highly charged emotional environment we live in—it might be wise to use some due diligence to properly verify what is being said before repeating it.   Remember, especially for those of us in the media, but certainly true for anyone who has a Twitter or Facebook account, the eyes and ears of the world will be on us next week at the SHOT Show.   Make sure that “breaking news” event you pass on to others has first passed the sniff test.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.