There is sometimes a decline in foot traffic around the SHOT Show exhibit halls on Day 3 though this morning there didn’t seem to be any slowdown in the number of people doing business. It’s pretty amazing considering one of the outdoor writers we met said he’d traveled 10 miles the first day inside the show and had logged five miles before lunch today.
The first two days of the SHOT Show, for us, are spent focusing on current partners and donors. We’re able to drop off materials that demonstrate our successes, visit and thank them for their generous support and donations. On day 3 we get to wander around the show more, look at new items and see new companies.
During today’s walk through the show Logan, Colleen and I visited with Starr at Laughing Rabbit, Inc. (LRI), an innovative woman owned company that’s making great inroads in a traditionally male dominated industry. LRI makes Photon lights which are tiny keychain lights which can be seen up to one mile away. These little lights are an excellent little product at an affordable price.
We also visited with the owner of PFI Mold, the maker of Z-blade knives. This small company retooled a product they had developed for the medical industry. The knife is essentially a scalpel blade with an injection molded handle and they developed a locking cap/sheath to allow it to ride in backpacks, coat pockets, and field coats without the risk of cutting the fabric. The blade is surgically sharp and is demonstrated in a company video that shows field dressing, skinning, and caping elk.
We later stopped by the Red Rock Outdoor Gear booth to look at the many backpacks, carry bags, and gear organizers they had. Colleen, who raises Clumber Spaniels, also noticed their dog leashes and collars.
Meanwhile, Kenyon met the owner of Hogue Grips and as they discussed Shooting Sports, the owner recalled how his daughters had grown into great young women due in part to 4-H which can only happen with the assistance of caring parents who make the time for their kids activities. 4-H is everywhere!
Over at Industrial Revolution, Logan, Colleen, and I met Dave Canterbury, a well-known survival expert who used to appear in Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival and is the owner of the Pathfinder School in Ohio. There we looked at the Light My Fire knife, which is produced for Industrial Revolution by Mora of Sweden.
Back at the Adventure Medical/Survive Outside Longer booth, the group ordered a number of Urban Survivor backpack kits to use in upcoming fundraisers and with Hunter Education courses. NYS4-HSS may have some extras available if you need an Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) kit.
Last year, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) opened a SHOT Show store. The sales from that store went very well, even better than their staff had expected, which prompted the opening of a second NSSF store for the 2016 show too. Items there included vests, hoodies, polos, t-shirts, hats, and even shotshell shaped shot glasses and wad cutter shaped thermoses.
At almost every booth we visited, family was an important part of the success. Even in a time when smaller companies have ties to or are becoming parts very large corporations, there are still strong family ties in the industry. Many of these companies have several generations, or extended family members, engaged in different parts of manufacturing or sales. There is so much comradery at the SHOT Show that in a way, it is like one big family in and of itself. Importantly too, many of these families have connections to 4-H in one way or another.
Until Day 4, safe travels!
NYS4-HSS Assistant Director