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Feel It In The Air Tonight

Latest air guns offer big surprise during Media Day in Baghdad

The weather was perfect for a day spent at the range. (James Overstreet photo) The weather was perfect for a day spent at the range. (James Overstreet photo)

By: Steve Bowman, OutdoorChannel.com

BOULDER CITY, Nev. – If you were to close your eyes in the middle of the desert right outside of Boulder City, you could easily imagine yourself on the edge of a war zone.

Small arms fire is constantly rat-tat-tatting, with the occasional fully automatic AR spewing out rounds. The only indication that these are shots headed down range is the consistent pinging of lead hitting metal targets.

This auditory war zone is actually Media Day at the Range (nicknamed by some “Media Day in Baghdad”), the kickoff to the annual SHOT Show where everyone with even an inkling of interest in shooting, hunting and outdoors gathers each year to peruse the newest, latest, greatest products for the market.

Media Day at the Range has quickly morphed into one of the more popular activities of the show, not only for media but for this year, retailers as well. For many there’s nothing like holding and shooting the real thing.

Click image to see photos of Media Day at the Range
Latest air guns offer big surprise during Media Day in Baghdad at SHOT Show 2014

Chip Hammett of Crossman summed it up best. While Crossman, makers of air guns, might seem a little out of place in the middle of all the guns that make big noise, it’s the perfect place for Hammett to showcase the companies new Nitro Piston 2, the latest in high-power pellet rifles.

“It’s just a lot easier to just shoot it,’’ he said. “It doesn’t drive it home how good it is until you shoot it.”

Hammett said guys will walk down the lane with rifles and pistols at every stop and come to them and realize they have air guns.

“They say, ‘My gosh, an air gun!’” he said. “Then they look at our range with targets out to 75 yards.”

It’s hard to visualize that standing on carpet in a show room floor.

This is just a small part of the overall SHOT Show, which encompasses 630,000 square feet and 12.5-miles of aisles in the Sands Expo and Convention Center. And it’s only available to the media, at least this part is.

This is the third year for Media Day at the Range, where the NSSF invites 1,250 media from around the world to hold and test fire the new products that are being introduced. The day has been so successful that for the first time, buyers for retail organizations will get their own time on the range beginning on Tuesday.

“It’s becoming an integral part of SHOT Show,’’ said Glenn Sapir, director of editorial services for NSSF. “(Media) get to see the new products on the range and how they perform. They get to fire it, video it, feel it.”

Ultimately because of days like this, the products that do make it to the shelf will get there because of their performance rather than just a better marketing plan.

“It’s extremely hands on,’’ Sapir said.

And not the least bit quiet. But for shooting and hunting enthusiasts, that’s just the way they like it.

Go to Shot Show 2014

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