Saturday, June 1, 2013

Events: SSAA SHOT Expo 2013

I went along to my very first SSAA SHOT Expo last weekend and had a great time.

I've watched with envy as the American SHOT Expo's have been reported in the past and it was great to find out there was one in my own city of Melbourne.

Having missed out on the Land Warfare Conference last year I made sure that I would make it to this one.

I wasn't disappointed! Here's me plugging some pixelated piggies at the Australian Deer Association booth.

I met up with a friend of mine who has been working in private security, and we had a good wander around. The crowds were quite something, even for a Sunday afternoon, but I got to see it all. It was great to finally meet Ben Doyle Cox from Platatac as well

 I was able to make some great new contacts, like the fine folks at Alpine Country, distributors for Stony Creek who took a bunch of time out of their day to go through their whole range with me. I look forwards to seeing some more of their stuff soon, and perhaps giving it a go in the field.

McMillan Rifles had the big guns ... .338 Lapua, .50 cal, and all manner of reach out and touch someone shiny.
I had a good long chat with Joh Dahlgren, of  Dahlgren Trading, importers of Swedish hand made knives, axes and  wrecking bars.

These were some very nice pieces; handcrafted from Swedish steels and some very nice handles in American hickory.

I especially liked the four archeological replica style viking era axes.

There were all kinds of fun things in cabinets, and on the walls for us to check out like this Colt .22LR

I was surprised to see so many pistols, considering the Victorian pistol laws, but it was great to see them up close.

We also saw a whole bunch of taxidermy...

A whole bunch of rifles and scopes at the Gun Emporium, a veritable smorgasbord of shooters.
The Outdoor Sporting Agencies stand had a wide range of longarms fro ma variety of vendors.

Lightforce had a great range of on-scope lighting as well as vehicle mounting lights.

The Beretta stand had partnered with Pelican cases, as well as showing off their own large range of irons.

Probably my favourite pieces of hardware were these two bulpup conversions at the Frontier Arms stand.

I really liked these, and were I in the market for a longarm, I would probably look strongly at these.

They also had a cabinet of target pistols seemed a lot more in keeping, and they are gorgeous pieces of precision machinery.

 I enjoyed checking out the Moroka.30 Stand, especially their Snakebuster Gaiters and meat carrier packs.

I had a great time catching up with the guys at LEGear, especially Josh, for whom I've done some reviews (1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ) in the past. 

I also met the visiting CEO and Vice-President from FENIX who were there with LEGear. Look out for some more from them soon!
Lastly, I dropped in on 5.11 Tactical, and caught up with them too, chatting with Bill over from the US. I had a great time, and got the low down 
on a variety of their products, and scored a set of their Stryke tactical pants, stay tuned for a review soon.

All in all it was a great show, and next time I will have a real agenda, and a plan to cover it all a lot more systematically.

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