The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world, and it kicks off this week in Vegas. Each year the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry shows off the latest and greatest products in an $8 billion industry.
The SHOT Show (SHOT stands for Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) is the once-a-year gathering place for anything outdoors—manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, publishers and wildlife conservation organizations. It’s where a passion for firearms, ammunition and outdoors equipment, plus the industry’s unified support for the Second Amendment, are on display.
This is the 42st year for the show, and it continues to grow each year. This year’s theme is “Fully Loaded.”
The SHOT Show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. The show generates millions of the dollars in revenue that funds NSSF programs and services that help “promote, protect and preserve” hunting and the shooting sports. Among those programs are Project ChildSafe, the industry’s firearm safety education program; Don’t Lie for the Other Guy, which works to help prevent illegal straw purchases; and First Shots, which provides introductions to target shooting.
SHOT Show 2020 opens with a State of the Industry Reception featuring comedian Henry Cho, followed by accomplishments of the shooting industry during the last year as well as addresses the important challenges we’ll face in the upcoming year. Joe Bartozzi, National Shooting Sports Foundation President, will present industry updates important for every professional to hear.
The $8 billion industry is seeing more people going target shooting and purchasing firearms for personal and home protection. The multi-year trend of more women purchasing firearms for protection and recreational shooting shows no sign of easing up. And recent NSSF research shows that minority populations in the U.S, particularly the growing Hispanic population, have a genuine interest in learning about the shooting sports.
Even as Americans purchase firearms in record numbers, industry points out that violent crime continues to decline, underscoring that more guns do not lead to more crime, as anti-gun groups inaccurately claim.
Some SHOT Show facts:
n The 2020 SHOT Show is held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, Las Vegas.
n This is the 42st annual SHOT Show.
n The first SHOT Show was in 1979 in St. Louis, Missouri. The SHOT Show has been held 18 times in Las Vegas, more than in any other host city.
n SHOT is the largest event held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Total exhibit space for the 2020 show is expected to be more than 630,000 net square feet—equivalent to more than 13 acres, the area covered by the New Orleans Superdome or the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
n The SHOT Show boasts 12.5 miles of aisles—just a little less than the distance of half a marathon.
n Put all together, exhibit space would be nearly 11 football fields in size.
n The SHOT show is the 5th largest trade show in Vegas and 19th largest in America.
n Exhibitors, buyers, media and other industry professionals hail from all 50 states and 100 countries.
n Nearly 63,000 professionals in the shooting, hunting and outdoors industry attended SHOT Show in 2018. The show is for trade only and is not open to the general public.
n More than 2,100 exhibitors will have booths at this years show.
n Firearms and ammunition are a $8 billion industry. The total economic impact of the industry is nearly $51 billion, which supports more than 300,000 jobs.
SHOT show offers sneak peak
The only way to describe the SHOT Show, a gigantic shooting and outdoor convention put on every year by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in the Sands Hotel and Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas is Huge!
The SHOT Show was started in 1979 and has exploded into the industry’s biggest event 40 years later. Just how huge is the week-long event? To sum it up, if you were to visit every booth during the running of the show you would only have 22-seconds to spend in each of them and the event lasts 4 days!
The SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world; it is open to the trade only and not the public. Shooting sports enthusiasts will see the new products unveiled at the show on retailers’ shelves during the year.
The $8 billion industry has seen record sales over the past several years fueled in part by the surging number of new gun owners. A recent study by NSSF focused on the shooting sports and what their primary shooting interests were. They also asked if those shooters had secondary interests and if they had an interest, but not yet doing. Then the question was – how can we get them doing what they are interested in.
“Really what we want to do is to remind people that there are a wealth of shooting sports and hunting activities, and encourage them to try something new,” said NSSF’s Jim Curcuruto, director of industry research. “If you shoot trap once a month, we want you to shoot trap twice a month and add in a round of sporting clays. If you are a dedicated white-tail hunter, try duck hunting.
“It isn’t really a true recruitment effort, it’s more of an expansion effort.”
The survey shows a snapshot of today’s hunters and shooters. Here are some of the results:
n The primary age at which most started hunting was 12.
n The first targets were usually small game such as rabbits and squirrels.
n Only 28 percent of hunters started hunting deer.
n 58 percent start hunting with a shotgun.
n 33 percent start hunting with a rifle.
n 60 percent were taken on their first hunting trip by their dad.
n 16 percent were introduced to hunting by a friend, which finished second.
n Number one reason people hunt was to spend time with family and friends.
n The favorite species to hunt was whitetail deer, followed by turkey and upland birds.
n Predator hunting was the fastest growing sport, with hog hunting growing as well.
n The first firearm owned was a rimfire rifle 40%, followed by air rifle and shotgun.
“Most people who try a fnew type of hunting or shooting usually do so because they were asked by a friend,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates. “Encouraging people to invite other to hunt or shoot is key.”
As for changing things up it usually takes a year or two for a new hunter to develop an interest in hunting another species.
The insights gleaned from this research are actionable and easy to implement, said Curcuruto. We’ve known for a long time that an invitation from a friend is extremely effective prompt to try something new.
New Items featured at SHOT Show
Some of the new products featured at this year’s SHOT show are:
Roosterwrap – is a cell phone safety harness for active individuals. Roosterwrap ($19.95) prevents your phone from being lost in the wild or on the bottom of the lake. Roosterwrap instantly turns your phone into a body cam. Roosterwrap allows runners to centralize their phone’s weight and minimize bounce during any activity. Most importantly, Roosterwrap provides instant access to your phone at any time.
Turkey Hooker – ($39.99) is an inspiring new product by Skull Hooker and the first bird display of its kind. This amazing new product allows you to have an attractive and versatile mounting solution for displaying turkey fans. The Turkey Hooker is sold as a wall display. Features include three tabs on the bottom for hanging/displaying a beard and legs. Like all Skull Hooker brackets, the display is adjustable to get the perfect angle or presentation of your trophy. The Turkey Hooker is not just your typical turkey fan wall display. It can also be set flat on a shelf or on an office desk. In addition, the Tukey Hooker can be utilized on Skull Hookers’ Table Hooker and Trophy tree displays as two more options for displaying those turkey hunting memories.
Sharpal Broadhead Sharpenr- ($34.95) is the most versatile sharpener ideally for outdoor hunting, archery, camping, etc., it has broadhead sharpener can sharpen broadhead and Dual Grit Diamond Sharpening Stone for knives and tools: Coarse 325 grit (45 micron) for quick edge setting and extra fine 1200 grit (9 micron) for honing. The wrench can tighten up or remove your broadheads onto your arrow shaft safer and quicker. The stripper can easily remove arrow fletching, glue residue, and arrow wraps. Stainless steel body for years of dependable use.
SQ10 – ($1300) is a Revolutionary Interactive Target for all Shooting Sports activities & Hunting Training: A target with a large library of Training Targets, to improve specific technical skills; A target with a library of Fun Targets (moving target, various games) to combine training & entertainment; A target with all disciplines of Olympic Shooting Sports, to prepare for competitions & to organize them; A target for Hunters, with various fixed animal targets & movies, simulating true hunting situations. This is not a laser system: it works with real pellets or bulleted ammo. Our vision is to take Shooting Sports into the 21st Century, and to make it more appealing for new Shooters, especially younger ones.
Pulsar Axion Thermal Monocular – ($2860) is the perfect pocket-sized thermal monocular and offers feature-rich technology like built-in video recording and Stream Vision App compatibility for remote viewing, unlike the competitor. Pulsar joins a 12-micron 320x240 pixel pitch to create a more compact unit with added an HD AMOLED 1024x768 display, creating a better, higher resolution image. The Axion knocks the competition out of the park, FLIR Scout III 320, with their incredible 4x magnification and a detection range of up to 1,860 yards.
Off Grid Tools Hammer Axe – ($44.99) With 10 features built into one tool, it equips you with the versatility that very few tools can. At 19.5 inches in length, the Hammer Axe provides you with enough leverage for serious power, but is light weight enough to be easily handled. The ergonomically ribbed rubber fits comfortably in your hand, while providing the stability needed during serious jobs. The black oxide coated axe head is heat treated and extremely durable
Combat Wipes – ($7.58) A black fabric outdoor unscented wet wipes for cleansing and refreshing while experiencing any outdoor activity, and hunting and military activity in particular. the industry-unique textured BLACK fabric, combining with a soothing Aloe and vitamin E enriched formula, make it the best outdoor wet wipe in the industry. the wipes are 100% biodegradable, and goes back to nature within 90 days when buried in compost or soil after usage. each wipe is folded on its own, so no need to “fight” getting the other wipes back in the back. 25ct packed in a pocket-size package to fit any backpack.
MasterClass Pro ED Binoculars – ($400) These premium series binoculars are highly engineered with field flattening lens technology that eliminates curvature of field across the entire optical system for a clear edge-to-edge image. Features fully-multi coated optics and dielectric & phase coatings for brighter, high contract views using the highest quality (extra-low dispersion) ED glass. With a magnesium constructed body and nitrogen purged, fog proof design, you will experience extended protection against the elements. Carry bag and harness included.
Huntego CleanShot – ($8.99) — Innovators and distributors of CleanShot — the industry’s first “shoot through” gun bore cleaning technology. Designed to be used in the field or at the range, CleanShot removed plastic build up, carbon and lead fouling in a single shot.