When I hit the ground last Sunday, I thought I had my SHOT Show planned out so well. I had a (long) list of knife booths to visit and an even longer list of individual designs to specifically check out. I thought I had plenty of time. Boy was I wrong.
No plan of battle, as Von Clausewitz noted, ever survives contact with the enemy.
I thought I’d be able to spend the week alternating between gun coverage and knife news. I was going to be only one of the five writers (not including Editor Dan Zimmerman, Publisher Robert Farago or Scheutzenfraulein Kirsten Joy Weiss) hitting the floor for three and a half straight days of edgy, accurate and hard-hitting SHOT Show coverage for The Truth About Guns and The Truth About Knives.
Then Ralph’s credentials got rejected by the NSSF. (WTF?) And then another writer took a job with another outfit and our batting roster was cut from five to three. I had to cover a lot more guns with Nick and Joe, and a lot fewer knives.
We hit it hard. Sunday and Monday were spent shooting other people’s guns and other people’s ammo, which is always a good thing. Tuesday morning’s marching orders were: GUNS GUNS AND MORE GUNS!
While nobody was watching, I still managed to sneak over to blade country to hit CRKT, Buck, Mora, Mantis, Boker, Spyderco, Havalon, Ka-Bar, SOG and Medford. I dropped by Benchmade on two different days, but my timing was terrible and my contact guy was in meetings with buyers. I meant to try a third time, but my time ran out. Somehow I missed Kershaw/ZT completely, although they’ve certainly gotten no shortage of coverage since their epic factory sale last month. Cold Steel? I totally spaced them, and I’m kicking myself for that because Lynn Thompson is always so entertaining.
There were definitely some highlights of the knife coverage I squeezed into my schedule. I bought a Becker Eskabar from Ethan Becker himself, and I also stuffed a Mora Bushcraft (not stolen, but still a steal) into my checked baggage for the flight home. Damn, that thing is rugged.
This isn’t the end; there are several new stories in the scheduler and I’ve still got another dozen SHOT Show knives to profile here. But I didn’t get to cover knives as much as I’d hoped to and I didn’t score as many freebies as I’d planned. Happily, it looks like we’ll have a few Havalon prizes to hand out this year. Those guys really understand social media.
In other industry news, Clay and I will be heading to the Blade Show in Atlanta in June. With no guns and fewer distractions, we promise to hit that show even harder.
Thanks as always!