Exhausted, my voice shot (so to speak), a sad, dragging-butt specimen of humanity. But I had a wonderful time. The annual "Michael Buys the Beer" post-SHOT party came off perfectly, with a slew of industry executives, competition shooters and media swilling my beer. Even the new Prez of OUTDOOR CHANNEL brought his family. Watch for the announcement of "Michael Buys the Beer" at the NRA convention in Indianapolis...wait wait...do they even have beer in Indianapolis? I'm sure some of my commenters will know the best places!
We won a GOLDEN MOOSE Award for GUN STORIES, and were one of 4 nominees in the increasingly competitive "Best Produced" category. It's darn hard to get ahead of that Jim Shockey and his amazing hunting productions! Congratulations to IMPOSSIBLE SHOTS, which won out over my 4 nominated shots in the "Shooting Sports" category. Jim Scoutten and his son, John, as well as their producer Mike Irvine, are friends, and we're all on the same page.
BTW, read the great interview with Joe Mantegna on Brietbart (where they also say some very nice things about GUN STORIES).
I have 2 new shows that will (I think) go to pilot, and, as usual, I can't say anything about them until we're farther along. Strangely enough, I've been asked to be a judge on a mainstream network outdoor competition..."we need a Simon Crowell, and you're him!" Hmmmmmmm...is that actually a compliment? My participation will ultimately be an OC decision, since I'm under an exclusive contract.
I also have an agreement in principal with Burris on endorsing their line of optics. Even if I didn't, I'd be all spun up on the new AR-1X Prism. I love the reticle, love the fact that it uses a AA battery and love the sub-$300 price point, I should have one of these on an AR within a month and will give you a full report...ditto on the other new Burris products.
Alright alright...I know you want to know what I bought, or at least ordered, at SHOT. The answer is...not much.
After fiddling around with one at SHOT, I'm ordering an Atlas quick detach bipod. It looks like a rock-solid unit and perfect for the shooting I've got planned for 2014. Just as the Show was wrapping up I stopped by Mark Serbu's booth...he has a really cool side-cocker AR upper with the spring system
mounted above the barrel, eliminating the buffer tube. It'll make a really slick pistol/SBR set-up.
Two big surprises:
• Walther's PPQ M2...felt great in my hand...had the best out-of-the-box trigger pull I've ever felt on a striker-fired polymer pistol...super short reset...the 5-inch version may well be my Sweetie's new 3-Gun pistol.
Walther PPQ M2
It is a really nice pistol! The trigger is on par with an Apex M&P trigger...honest.
• Rhino Arms' incredible new AR-10 platform 12 gauge. I'd never even heard of Rhino Arms before this SHOT Show, but it turned out to be old friends from the early USPSA days. These guys have built a killer .308 AR-10 platform, with a 1/2 MOA guarantee with 168-gr Sierra Match King factory loads. Yes, it's more expensive than production AR-10s ($3K vs. an average of $2.2K), but it is the best .308 I've handled (I did not get a chance to shoot it). So they took the .308 platform and created a 12 gauge...not a 12 gauge that mimics the style of the AR, but a top-of-the-line 12 gauge built on the actual platform. They had a 10 round metal magazine and showed me printed models of the final mag versions.
Both the .308 and the 12 gauge are "can't wait to shoot" guns. Rhino tells me there is a lot of interest from LEOs on the 12 gauge, and justifiably so.
In the end, I will probably buy one of the S&W 69 5-shot L-frame .44 maggies, even though the gun bucks like irritated mule with hot .44 Magnum loads. It can keep my .44 Special L-frame Hamilton Bowen custom company. And yes, some sad, sick part of me cried out for the .460 Magnum snub, but I already have a .454 Ruger Alaskan that would induce carpel tunnel syndrome in a tree.