NRA Annual Meeting: Day One

Alternate title: These dogs are barkin’.

Walked myself footsore yesterday, and still only visited half the booths. Initial impression: show was well attended, although I don’t have official numbers as of yet. It wasn’t as crowded as Houston last year or St. Louis the year before that, but the exhibit hall was bigger and with more vendors, so we weren’t as tightly packed.

And all these bloodthirsty, gun totin’, bitter, clinging rednecks carrying concealed weapons on their persons, and you’d never meet a nicer, more polite bunch of people.

Two things I noticed for sure: the explosion of dry fire systems, and there is a definite catering to female shooters (a good thing in my mind), well beyond the lame “Slap some pink grips on it and put it in the display case,” school of marketing. There were a number of companies hawking concealed carry options specifically tailored to women, people offering shooting classes for women, female pro shooters prominently featured, and so on, and relatively few booth bimbos scantily clad in cocktail dresses or miniskirts. In fact, one company had the classiest version of booth babes I’ve ever seen: two lovely ladies playing classical music on violins. Not something I expected to see at one of the nation’s largest gun shows, but a welcome addition nonetheless.

I’m not sure if it’s the continued scarcity of low-cost training ammunition (especially .22 LR), or people finally recognizing the training value of dry-fire practice, but there were a number of companies offering video/laser dry fire systems, including quite a few I’d never heard of before. I think maybe it’s a combination of both; scarcity of live ammo, and the market sensing a niche and exploiting it.

I made some contacts for T&E of new guns and products for later in the year, and you’ll be seeing those in the coming months here on the blog.

Got to chat with quite a few bloggers in the press room and on the exhibit hall floor, but a Who’s Who would take more time and space to list than I currently have. After the exhibit hall closed down, Tam, Matt, EMS Artifact, Scribbler and I met a few friends for dinner at Ram Restaurant and Brewery, after which I drug my tired ass to bed.

This morning, I’m off to teach the Shooter Self Care class, and then I’ll hit the exhibit hall again.

Again, look for my update on the Twitter machine and the book of faces, hashtag #NRAAM.