Happy 40th Birthday, SHOT Show!

Firearms Industry Show Celebrates 40th Anniversary

As the largest show of its kind in the industry wraps up this week, we want to congratulate the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the entire SHOT Show family on 40 years of helping to bring the latest innovations in the industry to market so that we can all enjoy them.

Although this year marks the 20th that the show has been held in Las Vegas (with the GunLink team in attendance for nearly half of those), wasn’t always held here. The first show was held in St. Louis in 1979 and it spent a while moving around before settling down in its current Nevada home.

The show hasn’t been resting on its laurels in those 40 years either.  The show floor itself has expanded from a mere 51,000 square feet filled by 290 exhibitors in St. Louis to more than 645,000 square feet packed by 1,660 exhibitors this year.  With that expansion also came more attendees, growing more than ten-fold from just 5,600 in 1979 to over 60.000 in 2018.  All of those exhibitors and attendees make a big impact too; last year’s show alone brought more than $88 million in non-gaming revenue to the Las Vegas economy.  Mostly spa treatments and Fiji water, surely.

An Industry that Gives Back

Las Vegas is not the only place where our industry makes a major economic impact. Firearms and ammo are an $8 billion (yes, with a B) a year industry which supports more than 301,000 jobs and makes a total economic impact of more than $51 billion. Through the Pittman-Robertson Act, the industry also enables conservation efforts that everyone can benefit from with every firearms and ammunition sale.

The good that comes from the industry does not stop there, either. SHOT Show generates millions in revenue for NSSF programs with the mission of helping “promote, protect, and preserve” hunting and shooting sports along with safety efforts.  NSSF’s Project Childsafe promotes comprehensive firearms education and safety, while their Don’t Lie for the Other Guy initiative works to prevent illegal “straw purchases” that could put firearms into the hands of prohibited persons.  NSSF also works to ensure that more generations of shooters can get involved and participate in the shooting sports through their National Shooting Sports Month each year in August.  

In it for the Long Haul

Companies come and go from the show; perhaps their big idea didn’t come pan out or the B2B industry-only format of the show doesn’t fit with their direct-to-consumer business model. Other companies, however, fit right in at SHOT Show and are in it for the long haul. These 50 companies have exhibited at each and every one of the 40 iterations of SHOT Show:

  1. Aimpoint
  2. Al Mar Knives
  3. Allen Company
  4. Beretta USA
  5. BPI Outdoors
  6. Browning
  7. Camillus Knives/Acme United Corp
  8. Cimarron Firearms
  9. Colt’s Manufacturing Co.
  10. Crosman
  11. Danner/Lacrosse Footwear
  12. Dixie Gun Works
  13. EMF Company
  14. EZE-LAP Diamond Products
  15. FW Outdoors
  16. FMG Publications
  17. Forster Products
  18. Freedom Arms
  19. Gerber
  20. GSI International
  21. Heckler & Koch
  22. Hodgdon Powder Company
  23. Hornady
  24. Kershaw (Zero Tolerance) Knives
  25. Lansky Sharpeners
  26. Leupold & Stevens
  27. Lyman Products Corp.
  28. MAG Instrument
  29. MEC Shooting Sports
  30. MTM Molded Products
  31. National Rifle Association
  32. Nosler
  33. Numrich Gun Parts
  34. O.F. Mossberg & Sons
  35. Redding Reloading Equipment
  36. Remington Arms Co.
  37. Sierra Bullets
  38. Smith’s Consumer Products
  39. Springfield Armory
  40. Benelli USA
  41. Ruger Firearms
  42. The Safariland Group
  43. Smith & Wesson
  44. Triple K Manufacturing
  45. Vista Outdoor
  46. Umarex USA
  47. Weatherby
  48. Williams Gun Sight Co.
  49. Winchester Ammunition
  50. Carl Zeiss Sports Optics

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