January 18, 2022
In what is undoubtedly one of the most talked about trade shows in the history of the outdoors industry, and after two long years of waiting, the 2022 SHOT Show is officially underway in Las Vegas at the Venetian Expo and Caesar’s Forum.
Held once again in the shadow of Vegas’ famed Las Vegas Boulevard Strip, the show has endured a postponement in 2021 (although a virtual event did occur), months of rumors about whether an in-person show would return for 2022, and all kinds of industry chatter against the changing backdrop of business in this pandemic and post-pandemic world.
But the show is underway, and while there is a different look and feel in some ways—there’s no getting around the fact that some major manufacturers chose to sit this one out, that some prime real estate locations on the show floor have some new occupants, and some companies have only a skeleton crew as compared to previous years—it still looks and feels good for the outdoors industry to be assembled again in Las Vegas.
Against that backdrop, here are some Day One news and notes from the 2022 SHOT Show:
Virus Precautions in Place
Obviously, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the highly contagious Omicron variant sweeping through the country are forcing some alterations to the usual SHOT Show experience. While vaccination proof is not required to attend the show, Nevada's state requirements mandate that masks be worn at the Venetian Expo and Cesars Forum where the sprawling show is taking place.
While there are undoubtedly some who aren't happy with such a requirement, SHOT Show officials have steadily made this requirement known in the weeks leading up to the event, and have even procured masks for all individuals attending the show.
In addition to required use of face coverings, there are a number of other safety precautions in place, including onsite COVID-19 testing locations, sanitizing stations throughout the show floor, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of high-traffic areas, and a requirement of a unique cell phone number to attend the show.
SHOT Show organizers indicate that such a requirement is to help enhance attendees safety onsite. SHOT Show officials indicate that the numbers will not be shared, used for promotions, and will be purged 30 days after the show.
Industry Day at the Range
The 2022 version of SHOT Show Week kicked off Monday with the return of Industry Day at the Range at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club east of Las Vegas. It marked the 16th such gathering and the first since the same hands-on Range Day experience took place a couple of years ago on Jan. 20, 2020.
As has been the case previously, there were plenty of participants for Industry Day at the Range and a lot of primers fired against the looming backdrop of the Spring Mountains. But there was also a different vibe, masks being worn by some, and some choice booth space sitting empty.
While there’s no word as of yet what attendance figures were on Monday, it would seem that a smaller footprint was found in the desert east of town, something short of the 200-plus manufacturers and 2,000-plus attendees who gathered two years ago.
Even so, lots of action took place, exhibitors were able to get messaging out about their products, and it felt good to simply gather again for one of the week’s more popular attractions.
Morning Commute to Show Floor Looks Familiar
Numbers have certainly been a topic of conversation as the SHOT Show returns against two years of pandemic interruption and the ongoing specter of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
What will this week deliver for the National Shooting Sports Foundation as it hosts the 45th SHOT Show?
In a recent blog post about the Show, Chris Dolnack, VP and Chief Marketing Officer of NSSF, gave some upbeat news when he indicated that this week would see SHOT welcome “…the most exhibitors we’ve ever had in SHOT Show history…”.
“With more than 2,400 exhibitors, our expansion to the new Caesars Forum, attendance numbers climbing by more than 1,000 every day since the new year, and getting back to SHOT business after two years, to say we’re excited would be an understatement,” he added.
“Right now, I’d put the Las Vegas over-under at 43,000 for attendance. I’ll be betting on the over.”
Plinkers Rejoice: Browning Unveils New .22 LR Rounds
On Monday, Browning Ammunition caused fans of the .22 Long Rifle to smile big with the unveiling of the Utah company’s new Browning PRO22.
The latest to Browning’s expansive ammo lineup, this new ammunition addition brings a high-accuracy option for those who want to spend a day plinking on the Back 40, chase squirrels and rabbits in the uplands, or keep their shooting eye sharp for next fall’s big game rifle seasons.
According to Browning, the PRO22 addresses one of the .22 LR round’s chief complaints—consistent accuracy—through “…improved performance through a precise target crimp for consistent bullet alignment into the barrel throat.”
In addition, this rimfire round’s “…subsonic velocity prevents accuracy degradation caused by transonic bullet destabilization. Simply put, Browning PRO22 rimfire ammunition makes hitting your target simple.”
According to Browning, the PRO22’s 40-grain, lead round-nose bullet travels at 1,085 fps; delivers 105 foot-pounds of energy; and is available in a 100-round pack size. For information, visit BrowningAmmo.com.