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DAY 2 - Sunday
Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day in the desert outside of Las Vegas. SHOT Show day two kicked off with clear skies and warm sunshine. After a quick breakfast, it was off to Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club to set up for Industry Day at the Range.
We had two shooting bays to look after. One for Axeon Optics, where attendees could shoot 300 and 500-yard targets with the Second Zero and they could meet and talk its inventor, John Baker of TACOMHQ. The other was the Umarex Airguns shooting lane where media and industry buyers could experience the Umarex Hammer .50 caliber rifle, Gauntlet .25 and Ruger® 10/22® Air Rifle.
Set up took a bit longer than expected. We had banners to hang, table covers to place, guns that we needed to verify were still on zero after travel, and we had to wait on targets for our lane. All in all, it went fairly smoothly, just took a while. Meanwhile, back in Vegas at the Sands Convention Center, we had a small crew working to get our trade show booth assembled.
Set up on the show floor went rather slowly this year. We were slowed by the venue’s crews, electrician, and our own exhibit service. There’s a lot that goes into setting up a booth. Tons of moving parts and different entities involved. To complicate matters, we had all new booth components. Can’t wait for you to see the photos of finished product. It looks great! Every brand we represent has its own space in some way shape or form. There’s even an “Airgun Hunting Lodge” where we’ll display air rifles for hunting such as the Hammer, Walther Parrus, Gauntlet, Ruger® Targis Hunter max, and Umarex Octane Elite.
DAY 3 - Monday
Monday was all together a different beast. The desert winds blew constantly and were gusting at 50 miles per hour nearly all day long. The temperature wasn’t bad, but the windchill was another matter. Upon arrival at 7 am we found the wind had ripped banners from their zip ties, but other than that everything was in okay shape.
Media flow was somewhat slow to start with, but attendance increased as the day progressed. The Hammer, which was serial number eight and one of our most recent proofing units, ran like a champ. We expected to. This Industry Day at the Range was the first time anyone outside of Umarex USA would see the Hammer in such a finished state. We had steels set at 50, 75, and 100 yards. No matter which distance a shooter chose, the Hammer delivered over 500 ft pounds of energy to those steels at a whopping 875 feet per second. We were sending 350-grain lead Umarex SLA airgun bullets down range.
The Gauntlet .25, as some of you are already experiencing, sure does pack a thump. It had no problem moving the 5-inch diameter 3/8 inch steel plates hanging from a tree. The combination of the sound of the 25-grain pellet flattening against the steel and the movement was excellent target affirmation. The Ruger® 10/22® got its fair amount of attention. Media and buyers just had to see and feel how well done the replica was.
On the Axeon Optics lane, John Baker, his son Jacob, and colleagues Ken and Mike talked and showed of the Second Zero all day long. They were shooting steels at 300 yards or 500 yards without holding over by using the Second Zero. One unit takes you from your zero or 100 yard to 300 in the simple flip of a lens in front of your optic, the other to 500. They were shooting a .223, 300 Win Mag and 300 Blackout to demo how it worked. It’s neat to see shooters who aren’t strong shooters sit behind a firearm and whack a steel at 500 without having to know their optic and hold over.
Back on the show floor set up continued all day and into the evening Monday. The show was to start at 8:30 am and at 6 pm there was still quite a bit left to get a handle on. Products had not been set fully, except for Elite Force Airsoft. Our airsoft crew had their area tidy and neat before the rest. The rest was slowly going up. Air rifles were set in place and air pistols were being positioned. The Airgun lodge was shaping up nicely. The big red deer from American Airgunner was in its place of glory and the 250-pound hog Rossi Morreale shot with the Umarex Hammer from a moving helicopter was centered below it. 4x6 pictures of various airgun hunters and their harvests were also getting positioned.
Our crew of dedicated employees finally left the booth at about 8 pm to grab dinner and get some shut-eye. Tuesday was going to come early and be long. The Law Enforcement area where our T4E (Training 4 Engagement) booth is located opens at 8 am. The rest of the show floor opens at 8:30 am. Come back throughout the week as we take you on a booth tour and show you some of our newest airguns, optics, and high-performance lights.