Shot Show 2008

Shot Show 2008 has come and gone.  Pictures and news from the show are filtering onto the internet.  What I have seen of the show leaves me completely underwhelmed.  With noticeable exceptions, it seems like the firearms industry continues to be plagued by a lack of originality.   

The large manufacturers present were pushing the same goods as always.  The brown rifle makers presented re-hashed versions of the same rifles they’ve been making for years.  The black rifle makers showed updated ARs with accessories that were news at the turn of the millennium.  

Since I’m already beating dead horses, Colt continues to disappoint with their 1911 offerings.  The re-introduced Delta Elite has a definite target market, albeit small.  But their new compact pistols are another case of too little, too late.  Will they ever figure out that what’s needed is a competitive Series 70 1911 .45?  By competitive, I mean with the features 1911 buyers demand in 2008, such as high-profile sights, a beavertail, and an extended thumb safety.     

In other news, what is Ruger thinking with their .380 Keltec clone?  You’d think one of America’s largest gunmakers could design crappy guns on their own without having to copy others.  What’s next for Ruger, a .25 Lorcin look-alike?  At least it’s not as bad as the 5.7 AR upper.    

Some of the exceptions mentioned were seemingly from the Louder than Words booth.  Metalmaster Ned Christiansen’s red-dot mounted sound suppressor is a work of art in metal.  Also, Stan Chen’s “Suite,” consisting of his 1911 magazine well and modified mainspring housing is definitely a step in a positive direction.  The industry needs more like them.

In closing, Shot Show 2008 will fade into Shot Show history as another monotonous year.  It’s a sad state of affairs, the US firearms industry.  


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