SHOT Show: Pop Culture Edition

The nice part about SHOT Show is that you can bump into people and objects that you normally only see in magazines, on TV, and other forms of media. While I was talking about some new Smith & Wesson products at their impressive booth smack dab in the middle of the main floor, I happened upon world-famous shooter, author, and fellow poultry enthusiast Julie Golob.

While my talents as a writer and shooter are matched only by my ability to make stupid smiles with coffee-stained teeth, Julie has a well-documented history of victories and is a first-rate ambassador for shooting to all sorts of people, including girls and women. Being at SHOT is a way to meet fantastic people like Julie, and it really makes you appreciate just how down to earth this industry is at heart.

With all the traffic and craziness, an easily-bypassed display by the NRA Museum here is showing some fantastic pieces of pop culture that millions of people would instantly recognize. Being near these authentic props and guns is about as close to Mel Gibson or John Wayne as most of us will ever get.

I hope one day to take a rushed, poor quality photo with Mr. Gibson, but for now, I’ll settle for his Lethal Weapon Beretta for now. Oh, and that’s Hans Gruber’s P7 pistol from the family-friendly Christmas movie Die Hard in the background.

Another famous gun is Dirty Harry’s Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum. The shield on the grip is addressed to director John Milius who’s also known for my favorite film Conan the Barbarian as well as Red Dawn, Dirty Harry, and many more.

It is truly amazing to see first hand an item that has such cultural significance to so many Americans. There is no separating the .44 Magnum and how lucky you’re feeling.

Among other important guns here are the M1 rifle used by Roy Scheider in Jaws, rifles used by Tom Selleck (sadly I did not see the Sharps from Quigley Down Under), and modern TV shows like Criminal Minds.

The importance of guns in American culture can’t be overstated. It’s rare to find an American film, book, or TV hero who doesn’t have to defend the innocent and smoke the bad guys, be it with a Beretta, a Smith or an M1 Garand.

There is a great deal to see at SHOT Show and it is worth the trip if only to see these celebrities in person, whether they’re flesh and blood or wood and steel.


  1. avatar jwm says:

    The Hollywood/entertainment world is our worst enemy/best friend all at once. I see a lot of young folks from families that never had guns getting into guns because of their love of video games and action movies. At the same time the actors and others in the industry who are anti gun and anti American are getting wealthy off pushing guns and violence. They in turn use that wealth and their fame to try to stifle human and civil rights.

    Talk about a double edged sword.

    1. avatar Big Sky says:

      They wanted to showcase the guns of John Wick but the SHOT convention center was too small.

      1. avatar The Dude Abides says:

        Just go by the taran tactical booth.

    2. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

      {Hollywood and guns}

      “Talk about a double edged sword.”

      Yeah, but you know what?

      I’m just fine with it just the way it is. We’re winning the youth over, since guns are cool, they save the day, get the girl(s), and right the wrongs.

      The Leftists just can’t compete with that message…

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I mostly agree. My only real complaint is thanks to movies like Die Hard with bad guys like Hans Gruber we’ve grown a Tactifool sub culture of guys in the gun world that think they can train hard and be up to facing the hollywood super baddies.

        All in all we come out ahead. But there are moments……..

  2. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Cool stuff to see. I’m glad that you took a few minutes to stop and photo these items, instead of rushing past to stand in line for a look-see at the next polymer wonder gun. You get 2 thumbs up from me!

  3. avatar Phil LA says:

    Still not a Christmas movie.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Yes. Yes it is.

      1. avatar Josh Wayner says:

        It is absolutely not a Christmas movie. I was being sarcastic.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          it would have been an indisputable Christmas movie if Hans Gruber had told John McClane “you’ll shoot your eye aus, keed.”

        2. Josh, Die Hard was not produced as a Christmas movie. You don’t categorize it as a Christmas movie. But a lot of us do, and it simply comes down to the fascinating variety of personal preference, aesthetics, and whim.

          How about this: I won’t try to talk you into accepting the film as a Christmas movie, and you don’t try to talk me out of it. Deal?

        3. avatar jwm says:

          1 & 2 were Christmas movies.

        4. avatar Dev says:

          Both movies were released in the summer. Yes they were set around Christmas time but they aren’t Christmas movies, the theme isn’t about Christmas.

        5. avatar Anymouse says:

          The original movie takes place during a Christmas party, so that seems pretty Christmas to me. “Now I have a machine gun ho ho ho” on a BG with a santa hat sure ain’t the 4th of July. It’s as Christmas as Wonderful Life or A Chirstmas Carol. The second movie doesn’t seem as Christmas themed, but I don’t remember any links other than air travel around late December.

  4. avatar gene says:

    You can see lots of stuff at the NRA Firearms Museum, too. It’s been a while since I was there, but they had Luke Skywalker’s lightsabre and, I think, Han Solo’s blaster and Quigley’s Sharps, among other things.

  5. avatar Kenneth says:

    You didn’t Quigly’s Sharps because it was purchased by Tom Selleck back at the time. Its all on Iraqvet 8888’s channel.

    1. avatar Wood says:

      There err a pair made by Shiloh Sharps. IIRC, he donated one and auctioned one.

      1. avatar Wood says:

        WERE a pair…

        Edit button?!? Eh?

  6. avatar Pmac says:

    Used to enjoy SHOT. Met a lot of firearms legends there. Saw John Wayne’s Colt SAA once. Retired now and don’t travel as much as I once did. I guess the firearms torch is being passed to a younger generation. Still, keep us old farts informed.

  7. avatar Darkman says:

    Stop arguing about a damn movie. The state of Illinois has just announced that they will be voting on legislation calling for the the complete banishment of all firearms identified as assault weapons. Keep Your Powder Dry…

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      I wish them luck because 1) I don’t live in Illinois 2) blatant overreaches like that are more likely to get slapped down in courts and take other bad laws with them.

  8. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    SHOT – thousands of Ramboed-up gun crazies together for days under the influence of The Gun Lobby, and hordes of Evil Death Machines…

    what was the death toll, again?

    Did they have to fly in extra coroners on 1,500 private planes. Oh, wait. That was Davos with this year’s climate change agenda.

  9. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    SHOT – My favorite event there is the Russian Roulette brackets.

    Law enforcement seems to have an advantage, or maybe disadvantage, but whatever.

  10. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    If the anti-people are right about guns and those pro-gun deplorables, gun shows are a Darwinist solution to the gun problem.

    They ought to be for them.

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