As I write this, we are hips deep in SHOT Show 2017 coverage. SHOT Show is the E3 of guns. For many, this is their favorite time of year. The industry as a whole uses this to show off new products, revisions to old products, and products that are in the pipeline. It’s great.
Except that it isn’t. Unlike E3, where there seems to be some accountability in actually producing on promises, SHOT seems to be where great ideas and good intentions go to die. While much of actual SHOT Show convention space is devoted to products already on the market. This is cool, but everyone knows about Glocks and Trititum sights. Most of the press coverage is devoted to new and unique products- this year things like SilencerCo’s Maxim 9 is the new hotness. Its awesome to see videos of guys getting to use and demonstrate these. Unfortunately, too often these things turn into vaporware. How many times have we seen a “Final Production Prototype” on the floor at SHOT with promises of “2nd or 3rd Quarter this year” only to never see hide nor hair of it again. Each year, I have gotten my hopes up on things like the Magpul Masada, US Palm’s takedown AK, or Desert Tech’s entire product line. The promises either end up never happening, becoming the Duke Nukem Forever of the gun world (I’m looking at you, Masada/ACR), being so delayed that people drop pre-orders, and the cool thing never has chance to thrive.
I understand that producing a new firearm is not a simple process. It takes a lot of time, R&D, and facility infrastructure to make. But until the gun industry learns it’s lesson the way the Video Game industry did, SHOT Show is demonstration of old news and vaporware.