This is my last installment for SHOT Show 2016. My apologies for the delay. The Show closed almost a week ago, but there was so much to see and tell you about that it has taken me five posts to report on it. Normally I'm lucky to get a post up once every week or two, and this is post number five in a little over ten days, so even if it doesn't seem like it, I've been busting my ... Ammo can. :-)
The last two days of SHOT Show were just as busy as the first two days, if not more so, because as the crowds thinned out, I was able to cover more territory. This last SHOT installment will cover mostly the clothing department.
Some of you may be already familiar with Girls With Guns clothing .
If you are, you may want to look again. They have revamped their line - especially in the camo department. I was pleased to see that they've come up with a Velcro adjustable waistband for their light weight and medium weight camo pants. This seems like a blessing for many women, but especially for those who are changing sizes frequently during their child-bearing years. Women don't stop wanting to be afield just because they happen to be carrying an extra passenger in front, or because they haven't lost all of the baby weight yet. The adjustable waist of these pants should allow those women much greater flexibility in their outdoor wear choices, without having to buy all new gear for their changing shape.
I was also impressed with GWG's addition of a series of hem snaps to this line of pants. This should allow some inseam adjustment without the actual hemming headaches of sewing around the cuff zipper. I would need to wear them to make sure that the extra fabric that is snapped up doesn't actually snag on my boots or such, and get in the way, but I'm happy that they at least considered we height-challenged women in their product development. This new line should be available come summer - in time for Fall Hunting Season. I might see if they'll let me try a pair, since I'm a novice hunter.
Also in the clothing department, I have to mention 5.11's addition of new "tactical yoga tights". http://www.511tactical.com/womens-raven-range-capri.html
Personally, I think this is going to be a niche only item, but I may be surprised. There are many slender young women entering the shooting sports, and some shooting sports -like 3-Gun - are becoming much more athletic. The tights are designed with belt loops and reinforcement for both holster wear points and kneeling. They were designed with female shooters in mind, so there might be more demand than I think. The cranky old broad in me says "ummm, no" - I don't WANT that kind of attention drawn to my buttocks on the range (nobody wants to see that - trust me -plus there are no pockets), but there had to be some sort of interest for 5.11 to take the chance. Having more options is never a bad thing. I'm sure the guys on the range will be watching this development closely.
It occurs to me that this might be a good idea for a fundraiser - I "might" be persuaded to try a pair, IF y'all raised enough money for a children's medical charity. On second thought, y'all might prefer to pay me NOT to wear them - your choice LOL. Let me know what you decide :-)
A surprising and welcome NEW entry into the women' tactical wear department is the dependable uniform/occupational wear company, Dickies.
I am encouraged by the look and cut of the women's tactical and EMS pants. I'm also happy that they are offered in sizes up to 24W, as not all of us can carry off the yoga tights look. I'm hoping that since Dickies has been clothing hard-working women of many shapes and sizes for many years, that this line will meet the needs of the "rest of us", for range and field wear. There are some samples due in my mailbox soon, so I'll let you know in a full write-up later on. The line is available now, if you want to try them for yourself.
In the non-clothing department, I had the pleasant surprise at the Otis booth to discover that Otis has moved into hearing protection with a new product. They are called Flugz http://www.otistec.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=BC75BAA9D9194F0EABEBCBB50B5C03F0
I was very excited by these. (Yeah, excited by earplugs - I know my life is wild - try not to be jealous) But the thing is, these are not only moldable at home - they are RE-moldable. If for some reason you screw up the molding process, you are NOT out 20 bucks and have to go buy a new kit, as you are with other home molded ear plug kits.
These are initially softened for molding by a few seconds in a cup of water in the microwave. After that, if you mess up (or even rip a hunk off), you just heat it up again, stick it back together, and start over. I think this is awesome, and the price is very affordable, at $24.99. They have a -21dB rating, and Otis is currently working on a design with even more protection. This is yet another reason for me to like Otis (Besides the fact that they sponsor Babes With Bullets!)
Lastly, the women at Law Enforcement Targets http://www.letargets.com/prodcat/papercardboard.asp
graciously provided me with a few sample paper targets, while we chatted about their steel dueling tree. They carry a wide variety of paper, cardboard and steel targets, not all of them specific to law enforcement. These are the folks who make the targets for A Girl & A Gun Clubs nationwide, http://www.agirlandagun.org/ so you know they are a popular and solid choice. I'm excited to brighten up the range a little when the snow melts this weekend!
So folks, that's it for this year's SHOT. I'm hoping to get some follow up posts up over the next month or two, as some trial samples arrive. I've also got some new adventures lined up - like my first duck hunt, and the Babes With Bullets 3Gun Challenge coming in the next few months, so be sure to check back regularly. Thanks for reading!