SHOT Show is rapidly approaching, and while we’re already seeing many of the press releases come out announcing new products I thought it might be interesting to make some predictions about what we’re going to be seeing unveiled on the show floor and some of the main themes for products. So here are my thoughts…

I think we’re going to see:

  • TONS of minor variations on the “M4/AR-15” theme. The “modern sporting rifle” is really taking off, and people are using the platform for much more than home defense and tactical shooting. And while we may see some “new” builds introduced the vast majority will simply be old models dressed up with some minor changes and touted as the “next generation rifle.”
  • Zombies everywhere. Firearms companies are finally trying to cash in on the zombie craze despite all signs pointing to it being a dying fad. And while producing a “zombie” version of whatever your standard stock is (Hornaday and Otis I’m looking at you…) it will at most give them a temporary bump in sales. There’s only so many “zombie” cleaning kits you can buy before it starts eating into your battle axe and molotov cocktail fund.
  • Montezuma’s Revenge. While zombies are one form of disaster that can leave the world in tatters, I think that a number of companies will be banking on the 2012 end of the world predictions to sell more “survivalist” and self sufficiency gear than ever.
  • Concealed carry madness. With a new state in the ranks and handguns being the driving force behind firearms sales for the last year or so concealed carry firearms and accessories should be big this year. Should, if the industry is paying as much attention to trends as we are. Expect new pocket pistols, new holsters and at least one “shoot me first” vest with a fake badge and neon green stripes.
  • High Capacity Magazines. After Magpul and Surefire started the high capacity magazine arms race last year I can almost guarantee Tapco and Lancer are right on their tail developing competing products. Whether they’re ready for prime time or not is another question but I have no doubts that we’ll see another coffin magazine competitor of the AR-15 platform.
  • The continued decline of quality. I was comparing a brand new Remington 700 (a Christmas gift one of our readers brought to the range) to my Weatherby Vanguard this afternoon and the Remington just feels… cheap. Companies are trying to squeeze every last penny out of their products and are skimping on the quality now more than ever and I expect that to translate to the show floor.

That’s what I think we’ll see. Here’s what I would LOVE to see but probably won’t:

  • A new aiming system. We’ve seen the same old sights year after year and variations on the theme, but there hasn’t been something new in ages. I know that people have been experimenting with camera based systems, and I think combining a camera with a weather station and a ballistic calculator could make a scope that adjusts the crosshairs based on current conditions and range and do all the heavy lifting for you. Sure it takes the fun out of long range shooting, but the point would be that it would be NEW. And expensive. So a boon to the economy.
  • A replacement for the AR-15. The ACR and SCAR-L have tried before, but generally failed. Innovation in the firearms world had been happening so fast between 1903 and 1963 that we went from bolt action rifles to personal machine guns in the blink of an eye, but there’s apparently been nothing better in the last 50 years. There has to be someone out there with a brilliant idea on how to build a better mousetrap.

Will these predictions come true? Only time will tell.

Tell me how dumb my ideas are and leave your own predictions in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you guys are looking to see.

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9 Responses to SHOT 2012 Predictions – Foghorn Edition

  1. I just got back from the Dallas Safari Club, and you nailed the first and fourth predictions, as there were several booths showing ‘new and improved’ ARs. and one was selling nothing but fancy little .25 and .22 caliber pocket pistols, while some of the high-end accessory makers are hawking spiny-lizard skin pocket holsters and the like. And yet another booth was filled with belts and holsters made from things like elephant ear, sharkskin, stingray, crocodile, and even Malaysian Bullfrog. Trijicon had a very large booth with just about everything they’ve ever made, but nothing new.

  2. Nick, you’ve done a good job of identifying trends.

    I’d ‘like to see’ a good-looking 9mm semi-auto carbine that does not look like something out of planet of the apes or a piece that drug dealers would carry. I’d also ‘like to see’ a classic looking 357 lever action carbine that side loads in the receiver. Also, an SP101 revolver with a 6″ barrel. Hey RUGER, are you reading my wish-list?

  3. ” Innovation in the firearms world had been happening so fast between 1903 and 1963 that we went from bolt action rifles to personal machine guns in the blink of an eye, but there’s apparently been nothing better in the last 50 years. There has to be someone out there with a brilliant idea on how to build a better mousetrap.”

    The reason, is that before the GCA (1968) and NFA (1934), making machinegun prototypes in your basement was practical. Now it isnt. Repeal the federal bullshit and you’ll see something new. Don’t, and we’ll be using the AR for another 50 years.

  4. I’m not a die-hard fanboy, but is it possible that the lack of a compelling replacement for the AR platform that’s gained rapid acceptance due to the simple fact that it’s just a darned good system?
    I have yet to see a compelling replacement for metallic cartridges, either – it’s a 150+ year old system for pushing a bullet, and I don’t see tension systems, pneumatics, case-less rounds or gyrojets replacing it any time soon.

  5. I’d like to see a rugged and reliable, home defense oriented, pistol caliber carbine. Basically a KT Sub2K but higher quality, more user friendly and a LOT less “plasticky”. (Are you reading this Glock?)

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