I've finally had time to organize my thoughts and catch my breath to give you the next installment in my SHOT Show saga. A hot bubble bath last night to soak my tired legs certainly helped! This report will cover some of the non-firearm interesting finds I've run across on the Show floor this week.
I'll lead it off with storage boxes. If you are like me, you can never have too many storage boxes. Doesn't matter if they are Rubbermaid or Sterlite, or whatever, but the gun corner always needs organization, and cardboard boxes usually aren't sturdy enough. (Honestly, even Rubbermaid boxes are sometimes not sturdy enough for my ammo stash). MTM Case-Gard has sturdy storage box solutions for lots of gun corner problems. http://www.mtmcase-gard.com/ . They've got a wide variety of ammo cans, pistol cases, bullet boxes, etc which are designed to be stackable. And if Black, OD Green or Flat Dark Earth aren't your style, they also have a Packed-N line, which is PURPLE. My own boring green ammo cans have been personalized with pink real tree duct tape, but this would save me some work and still keep the guys at a match from walking off with the wrong ammo can! :-)
A venerable company which is often forgotten in the outdoor clothing market is LLBean. http://www.llbean.com. They are changing that, with a new line that will be released later on toward summer. The prototypes on display are very encouraging. The plan is for a "family collection" of camo and blaze orange hunting wear - because the family that shoots and hunts together keeps the tradition alive for the next generation. The children's line, while not cheapy-cheap, will be priced to be affordable, and it will be durable enough to be passed down to the next brother or sister in line. As a mother and a budgeter, this is an idea I can get behind.
I really loved the women's merino wool shooting sweater they showed me. The Loden green merino would be great for layering under jackets especially in damp conditions where the wool would retain its insulation despite being wet. Merino wool is the "natural" alternative to polyester fleece. It is actually more safe around a campfire, as it doesn't melt when hit by sparks. Wool was the "performance fabric" of my father and grandfather's generation, and it appears that everything old is new again. Hmmm, I wonder if Bean would let me have one to "product test" on my first duck hunt this spring? I guess it never hurts to ask. :-D
After LLBean, I stopped at The TUFF products booth. They are the company that makes the holster pouch (Actually called the Taclett Jr) that I mentioned in a post a few months ago. Sadly, they are discontinuing the red and royal blue ripstop versions. But they may be putting those colors on clearance, so now's your chance.
TUFF products has a few other interesting items. They have a 2 layer Velcro shooting belt that you can cut to length, unlike others where you have to order a specific size. This could be very handy for handing one down the line to a spouse or teenager. It comes in Blue, Red, and Black.
TUFF products also has a packable backpack, which folds up into its own zipper pocket. This would be just the thing to take on trips for when you have too much stuff to bring home (like from SHOT??? LOL)... or if you are taking a shore excursion hike while on a cruise, and don't want to pack an actual daypack for the hike?... or how about for an emergency "go bag"? The possibilities seem endless.
Later in the day, my friend and awesome Lady 3Gunner, Julie Waasted took the time to demonstrate for me the 3Gun case and bag by Explorer cases that she helped develop. If I understand this correctly, the hard 4-point lockable case (with wheels!) will get you through the airport, and then the compartmented, padded liner pulls out and becomes your soft range case. And it even has shoulder straps so you can wear it like a backpack! This sounds as if an incredible amount of planning and thought went into this product. I am very impressed. http://www.explorercases.com/?lan=en
Finally, (for this installment - there's more coming), I need to say how awesome the guys at the SUREFIRE booth are. I personally have three SUREFIRE lights - one for my range bag, one for my work tote, and one for my car. My range bag light was the one I jury-rigged a lanyard for when I went deer hunting at dusk -- you may have seen the photo I Facebooked. Just to give the booth guys a laugh, I showed them my redneck lanyard solution. Well, one guy felt sorry for me, and told me to wait a sec while he scrounged me up a genuine lanyard! Thank you sir - you have cemented my SUREFIRE loyalty for life! :-D