January 17, 2007
SHOT Show 2007: On Booth Babes and Beautiful Rifles
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
This year's SHOT Show in Orlando had 1,870 exhibiting companies, was attended by 42,000 people and was, as ever, a nightmare vision of America gone mad. It was the biggest and best-attended show since SHOT began in 1979. (As a high-ranking NSSF official said to me with an ironic smile, "Welcome to a 'dying' industry.") As I understand it, the gun biz is selling everything it can make, and so there was not much innovation this year, with one exception, which is the Thompson/Center Icon bolt-action rifle (below). More on it here.
In additional to its mind-boggling size, SHOT was marked by the welcome return of booth babes, whose photos you can see elsewhere on this website. They were taken by our intrepid Senior Photo Editor Jaime Santa, who was able to get a bunch of terrific-looking women to pose for her camera. If I had tried, I would have been driven off with kicks and curses.
The other major trend in SHOT was the astounding growth of what the Show calls its Law Enforcement (actually paramilitary) section, which is now as big as early SHOT Shows were in their entirety. This phenomenon will be explored in a subsequent rant, guaranteed to offend all right-thinking Americans.
Any way, here are photos and thumbnail descriptions of the rifles I found worthy of your attention.