SHOT Show Mea Culpa: I Missed Some.

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

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!


  1. Nathan says:

    Too bad you missed Kershaw. They have so much great stuff coming out this year

  2. NavyRetGold says:

    I concur on missing Kershaw. They have had a raft of interesting new stuff come on the market. However, I have a bone to pick with them.. I was eagerly awaiting the Scrambler’s arrival on the market, and bought one very soon after it was available. (which took FOREVER.. They announced it in January and it hit the market in the 4th quarter) I was hoping for a badass defensive edc, but I was disappointed. The blade has a thumb ramp on the top where the jimping should go, but there is NO jimping. It looks like they FORGOT to put the jimping on the ramp that was designed for it. Even worse, you can’t carry it in a jean pocket because the pocket clip lands on the frame on top of the cutout for the lockbar, and it catches on the inside seam of the pocket. Its very hard to pull it out of your pocket… Big fail for a defensive edc. If I had spent serious money on this knife I would be P.O.’d.

  3. Joe Grine says:

    We could definitely use 2 or 3 more writers for next year. We may have to recruit “Tony” of LC-9 fame.

  4. Derek says:


    Is that a Yojimbo2 I spy? Is Spyderco making more of those?

  5. Mbuffo says:

    I am looking forward to reading more articles on the latest and greatest knives you will be profiling from the shows as I am just starting to get more interested in knowing more about the various types out there. Great stuff!

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SHOT Show Mea Culpa: I Missed Some.

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