I know it has been over a week but I wanted to give a small recap of the NRA Annual Meetings. This was my first year attending the NRAAM. Other friends in the industry told me in the past that I should attend but I kept putting it off. I wish I had listened to them sooner. For me anyway this show was much less stressful than Shot. Perhaps because it is open to the public and not just to the industry only. I was able to see and actually hang out with many of my sponsors as well as get to know new potential ones. I did not have to fight for anyone’s attention. No appointments necessary. You still saw big deals happening but it was over a beer rather than the closet space in a booth on the trade show floor.
I had the pleasure of spending time in the booths of ESS EyePro and Froglube and Lantac USA. I actually had a few people seek me out for autographs. Strange feeling! It’s funny, Shot Show is a “for the trade only” show and I am well known in that crowd. But at the same time, in that crowd no one really cares. We all know each others secrets in the
industry. At the NRA show on the other hand, it is open to the public so the people outside of the industry are more impressed. Does that make sense? In other words it always looks more glamorous from the outside looking in. What’s nice is that the trade only people were here also yet I was able to see them without time restrictions attached. I was able to spend more quality time with everyone I ran in to.
On my flight on the way down I had a layover in L.A. I ran in to Jason and gang of Mega Arms who are from the Seattle area. Iain Harrison of Recoil Magazine joined us. I even sat across the aisle from R. Lee Ermey on my flight. He did not give me the time of day but I got a friendly nod. He sure liked his Bailey’s and coffee though! On my flight home Mike Hughes and the Next Level Training/Sirt Pistol guys kept me company. I was able to spend time with friends from all over the country. The most memorable night was Saturday after the Stand and Fight concert at the Colt’s stadium. I witnessed in person Sarah Palin mention that Waterboarding is baptism for terrorists. That woman has gumption. After the concert people in the know made it over to The Slippery Noodle pub to let off steam. I am only going to say that I have not laughed that hard in a long time or stayed out that late in a long time. No business cards, just fun. Caleb and Shelley of GunUp Magazine treated me to dinner at the famous St. Elmos Steak House. It was as good as they promised. And the popular Prawns and cocktail sauce was fiery hot and popular for a reason. I did not just go out to dinner and pubs, I did actually work. A bit.
The NRA Women’s Network had a huge influence on the theme of the NRA this year. If you check out the NRA website they have really changed their focus to reach not only the younger generation but to women especially. With several new Commentators such as Natalie Foster, Gabby Franco, Julie Golob and Nikki Trupeau they are reaching out to women for their support. With the Mom’s That Demand Action and Everytown campaigns against guns, the NRA has done a great job of replying. Red buttons were seen everywhere that said I’m an NRA Mom. A video campaign fighting back against Bloomberg and his $50 million for gun control took the angle of the millions of NRA members with only $25 each. But a powerful $25 each. Susan LaPierre sent out personal invites to attend the Women’s New Energy Happy Hour and Breakfast events. You don’t realize the hard work many of these ladies are doing to spread the word and raise money for the NRA. The NRA is our last resort to fight the fight. They do not get involved in any other politics. They are just there to protect our 2nd Amendment. You can see this in which political candidates they favor. They don’t pick parties. They pick the 2nd Amendment supporters. Period.
I was able to announce my new sponsorship with Devil Dog Arms. They have built me a 308 AR rifle for my Heavy Metal class of 3 Gun. It is has a beautiful coating
and a stainless Dragon brake with my name engraved to match. Yes I am spoiled.
Leupold also supplied me with a Mark 6 with the Illum CMR-W 7.62mm. Again, spoiled! The Froglube and Lantac gang have been very generous in their support of my competition as well. I finally met John Huber of Huber Concepts Triggers. I have one of his two stage triggers in my H&H Precision Rifle. I am excited to work with CMC Triggers now for my 3 Gun rifles. I have their new flat trigger which I love! Unfortunately Accu-Grip did not make the show this year. I loved hanging out with that over 6ft crowd. I will definitely make a point to be at this event every year as well. Next year the Meetings are in Nashville. I have never been there and I hope to
extendthe trip for that location. The country music capital of the world. Lot’s of cowboy hats. You can’t go wrong.