Conservative estimates of roughly 70,000 attendees, and 620 vendors. Attendee count may be as high as 100,000.
Our President would have us believe that 90% of Americans support expanding background checks, yet only five people could be found to stage an anti-gun protest. Seriously, they were well outnumbered by the press filming and interviewing them, and the small gaggle of NRA members engaging them in polite debate. Some of our gunblogger friends, namely Breda and Alan, left them slack-jawed and stammering, unable to respond to a logical counter-argument to their talking points.
Meanwhile, at the show:
- Everybody -and I mean everybody - is making AR15 platform rifles these days. I saw substantially more brands and vendors selling AR15s than at last year's meeting. Another trend I'm noticing is makers positioning the AR15 as a hunting and sporting arm in their advertising. Everywhere you looked, their was some photogenic model bedecked in camouflage wielding an AR15 in the woods. Smart marketing? I think so. Broadening the gun's appeal can't hurt.
While most vendors are still struggling to meet demand, prices seem to have dropped from "OMFG, are you friggin' serious?" to a mere "Say, that's a little steep."
Also, Black Rain Ordnance makes some schweeet lookin' AR15s:
- I coon-fingered a Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P, with a lightened and crisper 4.5 pound trigger and a supposedly improved trigger reset. As far as TOTWTYTR and I could tell, the only difference between that and the standard M&P was the lightened trigger pull. Frankly, the trigger reset still sucks. I mentioned as such to the rep, and inquired whether they had considering just licensing Apex Tactical trigger parts for the Performance Center guns. That suggestion was met with a disdainful sneer and a backhanded comment about inferior aftermarket conversions.
I've got news for you, Mr. Performace Center Director. Apex Tactical makes better trigger parts for your guns than you can.
- Looks like I'll have some T&E guns for Blogorado this fall, including a sweet custom 1911 and a hot new rimfire varminter. More news to come as negotations continue…
- Nothing says "coexist" like a restored VW Microbus fitted with a GE 7.62 minigun. Bravo, Magpul, Bravo.
The hula girl wielding an AR15 was a nice touch.
- Anybody familiar with the Shooter's Arms Corp 1911 pistols imported from the Philippines by American Tactical Imports? This one is their Thunderbolt model:
From what I saw, it was nice and tight, trigger was crisp and adjustible. Other features included forward slide serrations, Picatinny rail, ambidextrous safety, extended slide release, fully adjustible sights, checkered mainspring housing and front strap, bobbed hammer, beveled magwell, and extended beavertail, all for a MSRP of $875.95. For $25 more, you can get the Enhanced version with ported slide and barrel.
Didn't look like the feed ramp was polished, and the thing has a damned full-length guide rod that makes baby JMB cry, but the interior of the gun seemed devoid of obvious tool marks, as least as far as I could tell without field stripping it.
It likes like a nice gun for the price, but the proof is in the shooting. Anyone with direct experience with them, chime in with your comments, please.
They also had a nice double stack compact 1911 with 12+1 capacity, the Fatboy:
Headed out to the Gunnie Prom right now, where hopefully I will find food, booze and good conversation in abundance. More to come tomorrow!