NRA Annual Meeting show floor report - Day 1

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by iamkris, Apr 13, 2007.

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  1. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    UPDATED: NRA Annual Meeting show floor report - Day 1 and Day 2

    Howdy. I'm at the NRA Convention and spent some of the morning on the show floor. The afternoon was spent manning the Air Gun Range teaching new and young shooters the fundamentals of marksmanship. I heard the NRA leadership say that they broke attendance and membership records...the show area is definitely larger than Milwaukee was. Also, Louisville will be next years venue.

    Two big takeaways...1) everyone I talked to in the booths said business is going gangbusters. Can't build 'em fast enough. Lots of people are panic buying. 2) There were LOTS of SxS double shotguns. Here are some highlights:

    The entry into the America's Center
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    Next I went to the DSA booth. I met Grayrider there (nice to meet you sir!) and had a great conversation with John and one of FAL 'smiths and whined about the status of my SA58 Para (I want it!!!). Hey guys...if you want to put anyone's rifle at the front of the line...pick mine! Pick mine!

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    Next it was over to the Thompson Collector's booth...something else to see all the early versions

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    Then to the Shiloh Sharps booth. You are not alive if you think these aren't pretty.

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    Lakeside Machine was showing their minature .22 LR machine guns...I'd like to mount one of those on a tiny little Barbie electric car...very fun

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    Then to the Kahr Arms booth to ogle at the Tommy Guns and new M1 Carbines
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    The Smith booth didn't have much new to show with the exception of their iBolt rifle. It is NOT a Thompson Center rifle...fit and finish didn't impress. Nice that it has a Picatinny rail for scope mounts though. I did play around more with an M&P40...I'll have to get one of those sometime. Also, their shotguns are really beautiful.
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    Colt had NOTHING new!! Their engraved SAAs were cerrtainly pretty, though.
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    Remington didn't have anything as big as their 105Ti from last year. They do seem to be keeping the CDL in their line up however. In general, it was a pretty uninspiring booth though. Their Parker shotgun...stunning.
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    I had the distinct pleasure of talking with the President of Knoxx Stocks...SUPER nice guy. Spent a lot of time with me. Their Axxiom rifle stock is really neat...I'd like to put together a precision rig together around it. He said they are moving toward putting in more and more features to support that.
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    Browning had some nice new high grade versions of their Citori and their SxS.
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    I will admit I went and played at the HK booth (small!). The USPs are surprisingly ergonomic...I had never really played with these before. I didn't get pix because they really aren't new...I did get some ogle time on the Merkels.
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    The CZ booth had Louise Mandrell there signing autographs...she looks really good for her age. Their CZ75 platform is really doing great things...I love the Practical. Also, their rifles are really expanding. Nice new tactical 550 line.
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    Over to the Taurus booth...they have a lot going on. The PT1911 is going stainless and Tactical...the railed version is coming out in the fall. Also, the 24/47 Pro Tactical really impressed me...tight, good trigger, ergonomic.
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    Here's the Rossi booth...they didn't have anything but I enjoyed talking to their spokesperson.
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    That's all for today. More tomorrow (maybe the next day?) after touring the second half of the show (in the afternoon...morning is back at the range)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2007
  2. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    Here's my impressions from Day 2:

    • Everybody and their brother is making ARs...they are everywhere
    • I'm starting to get old...the newest whizbang plastic space gun doesn't do much for me if it has a crap trigger and lousy sights (see FS2000 pic below)
    • Everybody and their brother is making 1911s...they are everywhere
    • The SOCOM pistol trials...while they aren't going to result in a new pistol for the military...have created a lot of really nice polymer pistols for the rest of us
    • NRA people and dedicated hunters/shooters are nice people

    One downside to the day (or "how Kris is getting cranky in his old age")
    • Saturday was not as enjoyable from an attendee standpoint...the "general public" could get in for a $10 donation
    • Lots of hip-hop gansta' wannabees walking around with hats to the side and tough guy looks on their faces (that wsn't a concern, but...)
    • Most of these guys ambled up...took pistols off the booth...put them up in the air gansta' style and flashed gang symbols...I told several of them they looked ridiculous
    • Overheard at the FN booth looking at the FS2000..."Yo dude, this is sick! Dis ting is fo killing people. Yeah man, I ain't neva' seen dis 'cept on TV. Sick man!" I told the guy I I have lots of military rifles and none of them have spontaneously jumped up and killed anyone. I told him everytime he acts like that it gives anti-gunners the fuel to ban more guns. He told me that "I gots my AK at a pawn shop...I sure it killed some people". **Sigh**
    • Many gun owners don't do themselves much of a service either "Dang...look at that ol thing...that'll kill a deer...yup" "Yeah, Ronnie Barret designed the 50 BMG cartridge for machine guns...I used it in the service...it stands for Barrett Machinery Guns" (Guy to lots of his friends pointing to a 3X magnifier optic on an AR) "This here scope behind the red dot is night vision...you can kill the enemy from a mile out in the dark"

    Here's the airgun range...I worked Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

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    The Army Marksmanship Training Unit had their booth set up in the lobby with some of their rifles/pistols...fun to look at. These guys came in the airgun range Friday night to compete to see who would buy dinner that night. They shot the Anchutz pistol and...well, I certainly hope that none of them compete with match pistols 'cause they were...umm...not that good with it. But I bet they are with other things!?!
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    I love Beretta O/U shotguns...they have a King Ranch series that is stunning. Also, they had the Sako and Tikka tactical rifles out...as much as I love my T3 I may have to pick one up. Their Lightning pump rifle is very nice...I had never racked the slide on one...now I see why it would be very fast...faster than a lever in CAS competition.
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    **Sigh** one of these days I'm going to go elk hunting
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    Like I said, everyone has ARs and 1911s...Rock River is no exception
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    Taylor & Co's lovely rack of 1866s, 1873s, etc
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    I never realized how small the NAA pistols were...their new .17 HMR and a .380
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    I wish I remember who showed the Gatling gun but it was purrrrty
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    Gunny was in the Glock booth again...the line to get his autograph stretched for about a city block. As last year, he was gracious and personable to everyone. He alsways seems to genuinely be enjoying himself. Sorry, I didn't get any pix of Glocks because...I don't care for Glocks.
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    The SIG booth was fun. I hadn't seen the Blaser tactical rifle...didn't realize it had a straight pull bolt...the bolt handle pivots straight back to unlock...neat. Also have the obligatory pix of the 556 and a rack of SIG pistols (one of my favorites)
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    Yummy Kimber goodness in the form of their pistols and beautiful shotguns
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    FN booth was fun. The good -- their 45 FNP for the SOCOM trials was very ergonomic. The slide release was a bit hard to reach but otherwise the pistol felt good. The P90 is really tiny...didn't realize how small. The bad -- I really didn't like the FS2000. You can't see the chamber to check it. THe mag has is very difficult to get out of the well. The trigger sucks. The cheek weld is very difficult to get to the sights. No thanks.
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    The Century booth was mobbed by the aforementioned local gansta wannabees. The gold AKs attracted them like flies to sugar. Also looked at the Galil they had on display...fit and finish was OK...front handguard rattled around...really neat rifle but not sure it is worth the $850-1000 they are going for.
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    Springfield Armory M1A and 1911 yumminess...
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    I had some pix of the Witness Elite in the EAA booth but I can't find them on my card...really nice pistol with the great CZ ergos all set up as a race gun. Nice trigger. Solid. They also had a .50 and a PDW in the booth but no one seemed to know much about it. Typical EAA. Well, somehow I did keep the pix of their booth babe...and of course the good picture is blurred. Crap. I didn't bother getting an autograph on the racy photo...my wife wouldn't have let me in the house with it.
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    ARmalite had not much new out but I didn't get to see the AR50 and the SASS up close. Nicely made rifles but SMALL booth. Inattentive staff.
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    Some really beautiful engraving of real practitioners of the art.
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    Talked to the VP of sales at the Barrett booth for a while. Very nice guy. He and I talked about how Ronnie was a hero to a lot of us for his political stances. He assured me that it was genuine with Ronnie...he is a solid American. Mkes me want to drop the $8K on his rifle...and mount one of the pintles on my Expedition
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    Uberti booth. I love S&W No 3's...must...get....one....
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    A real star of the show for my was the Thompson Center booth...the Icon is just exquisite. The machine work is great...a modern yet somewhat traditional receiver. FANTASTIC trigger. I like the Picitinny rail mount. They said they are going to focus on getting the rifle out in all the traditional calibers in the first year then work on a heavy barrel varmit/tactical version the 2nd. I encouraged them to do so. Oh...grizzlies are big.
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    That's a wrap. I definitely need to get a high pay, low responsibility job in this industry.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2007
  3. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Member

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    I'll be there in the morning. See ya there.
     
  4. IdahoFarmer

    IdahoFarmer Member

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    Good stuff. Thanks for the report from a life member that was unable to attend.

    Farmer
     
  5. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    Updating with pix and commentary from day 2
     
  6. INSANECANE

    INSANECANE Member

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    Awesome pics, thanks for sharing.
     
  7. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    INSANECANE -- I think you posted before I put up Day 2...check them out!
     
  8. chemist308

    chemist308 Member

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    Awesome post! Man I wish I could be there.
     
  9. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    I so wanted to go and take the nephews but my brother said no, too young and he was worried about attention spans. Maybe next year.

    Louisville next year? Very cool, just down 65. Maybe we can combine it with Knob Creek?

    Wish they would come to Indy sometime soon.

    Thanks for the report, iamkris!:)
     
  10. ARTiger

    ARTiger Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences at the convention!
     
  11. Guido2006

    Guido2006 Member

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    Nice post, thanks for the pictures.
     
  12. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    Oh yeah, for planning purposes, next year's event will be the weekend of May 23-25th, 2008 in Louisville. At least that's what the volunteer coordinator told me.
     
  13. lamazza

    lamazza Member

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    Nice post thanks alot
     
  14. wally

    wally Member

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    Nice. Thanks for sharing. As to the lack of Glock photos, if you've seen one Glock you've seen them all :)

    --wally.
     
  15. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    Oh, a quick anecdote

    I walked into the Para Ordnance booth and started talking to some of the "suits". I told them that I shoot a 14.45 LDA and was very sorry to hear of the passing of one of the founders, Ted Szabo. It ends up that I was speaking to the co-founder, Thanos Polyzos.

    He was a very nice man and spent quite a bit of time with me. I was wearing my Molon Labe hat and he noticed it and started showing it to some of his employees. He then told them of the Battle of Thermoplye and the story of the Spartans. He also told me the correct pronounciation and how the accent over the omega was ancient and no longer used in modern greek. He said that he was aware that several gun rights groups were using the phrase in the battle for liberty.

    Nice guy. I told him to send some of his people to hang around here.
     
  16. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Member

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    Thanks for sharing, iamkris. Nice coverage.
     
  17. ChestyP

    ChestyP Member

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    Another sad note

    We were passing out free "No Bloomberg" buttons (red circle/slash through "Bloomberg") at the SAF booth. Incredible how many NRA members did not know who Bloomberg was. Two visiting NYPD officers took them and immediately put them on. A St Louis officer saw mine and said, "Bloomberg, what a jerk." I gave him a button, which he promised to send to his mother in NYC.
     
  18. Grayrider

    Grayrider Member

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    It was a pleasure to meet you as well Kris! I was so busy I did not get around as much as you so the pictures are welcomed. There were quite a few visitors from various forums, in particular FAL Files. Michael Bane was one other THR member that stopped in twice and I really enjoyed chatting with him. Michael is a true gentleman and just as pleasant in person as he appears on Shooting Gallery. He may have a video of me talking about the DSA SA58 series on his web site at some point. I may be in SOF holding our TP9 as well if they use my picture.

    John
     
  19. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    Thanks John.

    I called Nicole at the shop today and had her make the amendments to my order as you guys suggested. Remember, put a good word in to the guys in the shop about me when they are building my rifle!! Make it a good 'un. :p
     
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