The Column, No. 151:

2024 SHOT Show Las Vegas

By Randy Wakeman

Outside the Venetian Expo Center, you can see the latest Las Vegas attraction, the Sphere.

The 2024 SHOT Show in Las Vegas was a well-attended, well-run event. Attendance was claimed to be around 55,000, a jump from the 52,000 that attended last year. It is a smaller show in terms of people these days, as from 2012-2018 attendance was usually over 60,000, with over 67,000 in 2014 and 65,000 in 2017. It is a larger show in terms of exhibitors, although some would argue that many of those exhibitors are not in the shooting and hunting industry.

I'm happy to report that, once again, I turned the tables on Las Vegas with a 40% return on my gambling investment. It took only about seven minutes to pop $20 into a blackjack game, sip on my diet Pepsi, and cash out at $28. This stunning windfall is enough for a bottle of water or, if you add $32 to it, you can get a cab ride to the airport.

Above, the Browning A5 20 Gauge was a range day hit.

The first event was Range Day, that wasn't well-attended due to the rainy forecast. The rain held off until a bit after 11:00 on Monday, so those that did venture out had a good time with little waiting to see what interested them. The actual trade show itself kicked off Tuesday morning.

There is a big push for the Winchester 400 Legend straight wall cartridge, with rifles available from Savage, Winchester, Mossberg, Ruger, and others. Savage Arms alone has some 14 new models announced. While it allows you to put more lead on your target than the 350 Legend, the ballistics are no better, there is more recoil, a slightly higher cost per shot, and no whitetail out to 200 yards can live on the difference. It does remind me of old debates pitting the .30-30 vs. the 35 Remington that were more sizzle than substance.

The Henry Homesteader 9mm tested last year did well, with my sole gripe being the heavy trigger. My example was very early production. The examples from Henry at Range Day had far better triggers, so you can expect a retest on the Henry when the trigger is addressed.

Whenever I get back from SHOT, everyone asked what the highlight was. This year, the answer was easy, for my Uber driver showed up with his new 1020 hp Tesla Model X Plaid, 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds or a bit better. He asked, “You want it?” Of course, so he pulled off to a side street, full stop, and flipped the switch. Every crooked bone in my body is now straight, and this is not just sinking into the seat: it is violent, along the lines of 1.2 G. This entertaining launch can be yours as well, for $120,000 or so. Batteries included.

Appealing to the low or no information, gullible consumer, Benelli introduced the “Advanced Impact” barrel. Violating Newton's first low of motion, a 1400 fps (or any) load from a Benelli barrel mystically takes an “up to” 4% one meter muzzle velocity increase and transforms it to a claimed 42% faster velocity than other (anonymous) barrels at 60 meters. This imbecilic, evidence-free claim marks a new level of con artistry, for pellets in free flight all do the same thing, regardless if launched from a slingshot, catapult, or a barrel. The Performance Shop Ethos Sport AI shotgun is listed at $3349. If you want to get ripped off, the crooked barrel that shoots a crooked mile is now your opportunity from Benelli. Benelli once again shoots themselves in the foot, but it is most likely high and to the left.

The Trulock Brothers of Trulock choke renown are fulfilling George Trulock's dream of a 100% made in the USA firearm from 100% American materials. It is the Trulock Model 67, an extremely high quality blueprinted re-imagining of the classic Winchester Model 67 single shot rimfire rifle. Final details are expected later on this year.

Many new firearms and ammunition offerings are scheduled for review in 2024. Guns and Shooting Online will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

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Copyright 2024 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.