29 Jan

SHOT Show Media Day, Las Vegas, 2015

Steven K. Ledin,

Media Day 2015

I arrived in Las Vegas Sunday afternoon, a couple days before the SHOT Show officially started. Monday was Media Day, which is the day before SHOT and is spent at a shooting range in the desert outside of Vegas. It’s  under an hour ride to the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club, and comfortable tour buses take the writers there in style.

After checking in and grabbing eye and ear protection if you didn’t bring your own, you walk the dusty grounds and peruse the wares of vendors in tent after tent, most with their own designated ranges. I’ve been to Media Day several times before, and I know most of you reading this would dream of it. Use any gun you want, mostly new offerings, shoot a magazine or two from those you choose to, talk to the range officers and vendors about them, and ask questions to people that use them and know the answers. At times you have to wait in line to get to the most popular models. Some lines are long.

I stopped at American Tactical Imports first, and liked GSG’s uber-cool MP40 and Schmeisser STG-44, both in 22LR.  ATI is always good for an AK or two, also.


Devil Dog Arms had a selection of some of the most attractive ARs.

Devil Dog Arms

Last year I enjoyed shooting the Browning Black Label 1911-22, and this year they came out with the 1911-380. I really liked shooting this gun, although I can’t say I have a solid use for it. It just fits my hand well, shoots like a creampuff, and is great quality in a familiar 1911 platform, but 20% smaller. Like it a lot, but it’s a bit pricey for something I wouldn’t carry or spend a lot feeding at the range. Winchester’s Train and Defend ammo is a great idea that has been selling well. It has two different loads in the same caliber, meant to feel the same and have the same point of impact. The Train load is much less expensive than the Defend load so you can shoot a lot more of it for less money than throwing a more expensive and technologically advanced defensive bullet into the backstop at your range.

1911 .380

The Gen 4 Glock G40 10mm is a longslide with cuts for an mini red dot of your choice. It’s also available in the model 34, 35, and 41. I am certainly a fan. Having Glock shooter Tori Nonaka there in her smokin’ tight shooting clothes certainly didn’t hurt the turnout at the booth. Google her images. Yow!

19 Deltapoint

IWI is a favorite company of mine, and the Tavor is my favorite new platform in existence. My buddy Marshall just bought one under my recommendation, and he outfitted it with an EOTech and Geissele trigger. Superb gun, just superb. They just came out with a modernized version of the famous Galil rifle in 7.62×39, and it shot like a pussycat. The SBR was completely badass.

Galil SBR

SilencerCo is another favorite company, and since I don’t get to play with a lot of suppressed guns here in Illinois, I burned some powder out of a couple of supressed favorites, a Ruger Mark II and my normal carry gun, a Glock 19.

Mk IISilencerco 19

I’ve appreciated Christensen Arms since they starting making barrels for the Browning A-Bolt Carbon Fiber Stainless Stalker in about 2000. I sold quite a few of these carbon-barreled lightweight wonders. They were 6.25# in short action and only about 7# in long. I loved them. My friend Chuck the vet shoots a Christensen Carbon Extreme II, and another friend Mike has a TMF Tactical bolt gun in 338 Lapua, a CF10 AR type gun in 308, and a stainless Damascus 1911. Superb and expensive works of art. So I had to stop and talk to the folks there and shoot a few.

ChristensenChristensen w Nightforce

It was a dusty day filled with pulling triggers of new guns of all kinds. I hope you folks get to enjoy something like this some time.



About Steven K. Ledin

Steve has never not known guns. Before motorcycles, money, or girls, they have always been part of his life. He was tenured as General Manager of one of the country’s largest gun stores and ranges, a buyer in a big box sporting goods store, and is currently OpticsPlanet’s Director of Product Intelligence. He was a US Navy gunners mate, and is an NRA certified instructor in ten categories, as well as an Illinois CCW instructor. He shoots competitively and has hunted from Alaska to Africa. He thoroughly loves life with his beloved wife, Shirley, and their three wildish dogs Tinker, TranRek (pronounced “Train Wreck”), and Crash Almighty. He is a stubborn stage 4 cancer survivor not yet ready to cash in his chips.

Leave a Reply

Back to Entries