SHOT Show Swag Vipers

I learned a new phrase this week. It is “swag viper”.

A swag viper is someone who goes to the SHOT Show, vacuums up every bit of swag exhibitors have at their booths, and then puts it up for sale on EBay shortly thereafter. The swag ranges from giveaway caps and T-shirts to limited edition patches to 2023 SHOT Show LaRue Tactical “dillos”.

Below is some of the swag I got at the SHOT Show this year. I didn’t go out of my way to collect patches…much. I did make sure to get a complete set of the hexagonal Tuff Products patches. I know I gave out many more patches than I collected.

I saw the Geissele badge holders going for $20 on Ebay. The LaRue Tactical commemorative dillo is still selling for close to $50. The most expensive patch soon after the show was the Liberal Gun Club unicorn patch which was selling for $189. It has fallen in price to “only” $89. Currently, the most expensive thing is 50 Glock giveaway pens going for almost $200.

I collect the patches and other swag as a remembrance of the good times I had at the SHOT Show, the people I met, and the companies I visited. Eventually, all the patches will go on a display board and hung somewhere in the house.

I know when I give out patches it is to remind people of my blog. Likewise, the exhibitors give out patches to attract people to their booth and to thank them for stopping by. Companies like Original S.W.A.T footwear have patch boards and a new patch for each day of SHOT. In that case, it is leave a patch, get a patch. I don’t think any company gives out patches only to see them being resold within hours on Ebay.

I have no problem with someone selling off a patch collection accumulated over the years nor do I have a problem with someone trading a patch or selling a couple here and there. What I do find objectionable are businesses vacuuming up swag only to sell it on Ebay. They go by cutesy names like “nevadatreasures” and “kristiescountlesscollectibles“.

How re-sellers like this get the swag is unknown. I just wish the swag vipers would go away.

SHOT Show 2023 – It’s The People

Seeing all the new products being released at SHOT Show is cool. Since I caught the SHOT Show crud during the show and not after it, I didn’t get to see as much as I usually did. Nonetheless, what I really enjoy most about going to the SHOT Show is reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

I’m not the best at taking selfies but others are. I ran into Charlie Chambers who I first met at a Gun Rights Policy Conference at Range Day. He was there with Amanda Suffecool and Rob Campbell of Eye on the Target Radio. This was taken early in the day before the rain arrived and the wind picked up.

Then there are the people you run into in the Media Room. In this case it was Charlie Cook of Riding Shotgun with Charlie and John Petrolino of As Charlie noted, all three of us were recipients of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Ray Carter Blogger of the Year Award.

Thursday was interesting as lunch and then dinner ran the political spectrum from Right to Left. Lunch was with Paul Valone and his wife Lori of Grass Roots North Carolina along longtime GRNC volunteer Josette Chmiel. Paul is the author of the book Rules for Anti-Radicals which deals with defeating leftism.

L-R: Me, Paul, Josette, Lori

Thursday evening I swung to the opposite end of the political spectrum when I had dinner with people from the Liberal Gun Club. Beyond the wonderful food at Bouchon, I had a great time reconnecting with Lara and Ed Smith and trainer/revolver guru Grant Cunningham. Grant was at the SHOT Show representing Lubriplate which makes non-toxic firearm lubricants (among many other things). It had been years since I had seen Grant face-to-face so it was really fun to catch up with him.

Finally, there is my old friend Michael Bane. I ran into him at Range Day where he introduced me to James Tarr. Later that evening, I had dinner with Michael and his “sweetie” along with Paul Erhardt and one person whose name I still don’t remember. The Complementary Spouse insisted I get a picture. Unfortunately, I forgot. Fast forward to Thursday when Michael was doing the giveaway for a customized Tisas 10mm 1911 at the SDS Imports/Tisas booth. His “sweetie” was kind enough to take this picture of us and the Complementary Spouse was pleased.

There were a lot more people I ran into at SHOT than I can name without leaving someone out. Despite coming down with the crud and missing a day of the show because I stayed in bed, it was a good trip and it was the people that made the trip.

SHOT Show Patches

I got my first SHOT Show patch and I haven’t even left for Las Vegas!

A-B Emblem is one of the largest manufacturers of patches in America. They have done almost every NASA mission patch along with patches for the military, law enforcement, and the Boy Scouts. Just as important to me, they are local. Some patches are made here in Buncombe County. They also own factories in both Mexico and China where they can produce both embroidered and PVC patches.

I had decided it was time to update my own patch. The old patch still had the Blogspot address. Moreover, I was down to just a few. I decided to go with a round patch with a green background as opposed to the old khaki or tan background. As you can see below, I think they did a nice job.

If you see me at the SHOT Show, ask for one of my new patches.

As both my wife and David Yamane will testify, I do have a thing for patches. I blame it on my years in the Boy Scouts where patch collecting was a big thing especially in the Order of the Arrow. I am sure I will do a post on the patches I return with from Las Vegas.

One of these days I’ll also do a post on a low-cost way to display them. The Complementary Spouse – mostly her – and I have got this figured out.

Lionheart Industries Vulcan 9

Lionheart resurrected the Daewoo DH-51 a few years ago. I still have a DH-40 which is the .40 S&W version of that pistol. It is a full size service pistol that is DA/SA plus it has the Safety Fast Shooting System. The system allows you to lower the hammer on a cocked pistol. If you touch the trigger, it will recock the hammer.

Since resurrecting the old Daewoo pistol, Lionheart has moved well beyond it. Now they are releasing the Vulcan 9 which will be optics ready.

Details on the pistol:

The new VULCAN 9 picks up where the REGULUS left off. Continuing Lionheart’s record of providing combat ready, heirloom quality pistols, the VULCAN 9 answers the call for those looking for a refined, optic-ready, hammer-fired pistol for concealed carry.


  • LHI Tru-Axis™ Barrel – Chambered in 9mm
  • Optics-Ready – No Adapter Plates Required
  • Rapid Engagement Grip System with Integral Gas Pedal
  • Optional On-Board Storage for Multitasker Tools NANO²
  • Optional J-Trigger and Bobbed Hammer
  • Forward Slide Serrations
  • Reversible Mag Release and Ambidextrous Safety
  • Flush-Fit 15-Round Magazine
  • Shipping April 2023

The specs are as follows:

  • CALIBER: 9mm
  • SLIDE WIDTH: 0.95in

More info here.

The Vulcan 9 is 100% US made unlike some earlier Lionheart models.

Everytown Must Have Fire-Proof Pants

Everytown for Gun Safety (sic) just released a breathless report on the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

NSSF is accused of being “a front group” for the firearms industry. Well, no shit, Sherlock! They are explicitly the firearms industry’s trade association.

Then NSSF has the effrontery (sarc) to hold their trade show aka the SHOT Show in Las Vegas “just two miles from the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.” How dare they bring millions and millions of dollars to Las Vegas with the 5th largest trade show in the city.

The report itself attacks the SHOT Show. The authors rail about it and Range Day being closed events “unlike other gun shows” but then go on about how NSSF is trying to get guns in the hands of everyone. Think about that – an event closed to the general public. If NSSF and the gun industry really were the evil monsters the report wants you to believe, they would invite in everyone to the SHOT Show.

But unlike other gun shows, the SHOT Show is a closed-door event open only to exhibitors, potential customers who buy in bulk — including gun wholesalers, retailers, and military and law enforcement personnel — and media outlets that regularly cover firearms.

The first event associated with the annual SHOT Show falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when attendees are shuttled 30 miles into the desert to shoot hundreds of new guns from various manufacturers at a massive outdoor shooting range in Boulder City, Nevada.2 The official convention then takes place indoors, at the Venetian Expo Center and Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, where attendees can walk “13.9 miles of aisles”3 over four days to inspect all the new guns, ammo, and related gear on display — after getting through security.

With “Range Day” held in the remote desert and the rest of the convention walled off within the Venetian and Caesars Forum, SHOT Show symbolizes how far removed the gun industry is from the real-world consequences of its deadly products and how they are sold.

Read the whole thing and then think about this.

The NSSF and the industry do more to stop straw purchases through their “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” campaign, dealer education, and FFL reporting of suspicions to the BATFE than anyone else.

In terms of actual safety, Project ChildSafe has partnered with over 15,000 law enforcement agencies to hand out over 37 million firearm safety kits. What have the Bloomberg minions actually done to promote actual gun safety? I think we know the answer.

If I had to guess, Everytown, Bloomberg, and the rest of the gun control industry are upset that the NSSF is stepping up to combat gun control just when they thought they had the NRA on the ropes. The timing of this “report” just before the SHOT Show is evidence of this.

I just hope the authors of this report had their fire-proof pants on because otherwise they would be on fire.

How Big Is The SHOT Show

This will be my 8th SHOT Show that I’ve attended.

The smallest I attended was in 1996 in Dallas. Tactical and military was looked down upon back then. Those vendors were placed in an out of the way location of the Dallas Convention Center. One of the biggest vendors was Columbia Sportswear. I even got to see the late Gert Boyle, CEO of Columbia, when I walked the floor.

The largest SHOT Show for me will be this year. While the Caesar’s Forum was open last year, many vendors canceled over pandemic concerns. This year I anticipate both the Venetian Sands Expo Center and the Caesar’s Forum will be full.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation which puts on the SHOT Show has produced an infographic showing just how big an event it is. If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you know I love my infographics!

SHOT Show – What Interests You?

The press releases from vendors appearing at the SHOT Show are starting to pile up. Some are for products that are of interest to most readers (guns!) and some are more appropriate for the military and law enforcement audience.


I did get one the other day on a product called the Q-Collar intended to minimize head injuries on the battlefield or football field. It really is not a product that many of my readers would need. However, my major interest in going to that booth is to meet former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. He was a seven-time All-Pro player plus the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year. He walked away from the NFL after the 2019 season at the age of 28 rather than suffer more head injuries. I admired him for making that decision.

I can’t stop at every booth at the SHOT Show but I can make an effort to stop at those whose products are of interest to you. Here is a list of all the exhibitors that will be attending the SHOT Show this year. If something catches your eye, let me know in the comments. I will try to make it to that booth and post a report here.

Second Annual Governors’ Forum At SHOT Show 2023

I attended the Governors’ Forum at the 2022 SHOT Show. It was great to see pro-rights governors such as Kristi Noem (R-SD), Brian Kemp (R-GA), and Pete Ricketts (R-NE) speak up in defense of the Second Amendment as well as in favor of permitless carry.


The National Shooting Sports Foundation is again going to host a governors’ forum. The lineup is changed a bit from last year but that just means more pro-rights governors will be on board. Gov. Gianforte (R-MT) and Gov. Mark Gordon (R-WY) are repeats from last year. I really hope Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SC) will join as well.

From NSSF:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, will host several governors at SHOT Show® 2023 to speak about the importance of the firearm industry to their state, efforts to attract firearm and ammunition-related businesses, and the benefits of firearm-related businesses to their state economies.

NSSF’s Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) will take place at the Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum in Las Vegas from Jan. 17-20, 2023. The Governors’ Forum, hosted by NSSF’s Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs and General Counsel, will take place in the Murano Room, 3rd Floor of the Venetian Expo from 1-2 p.m. (Pacific Time), Jan. 18, 2022. The forum is open to industry media and will include questions from attendees. No RSVP is required.

“This unique opportunity to hear directly from governors of the importance of the firearm industry and issues important to them was a resounding success last year. We wanted to create another event to welcome these governors to speak directly with show attendees and industry media,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF SVP & General Counsel. “NSSF has regularly welcomed governors, but this is a truly special chance to gather these governors in one space to speak about the importance of a growing and vibrant firearm industry to their states.”

Confirmed for the Governors’ Forum is (in alphabetical order of states):

Idaho – Governor Brad Little

Mississippi – Governor Tate Reeves

Montana – Governor Greg Gianforte

Nebraska – Governor (elect) Jim Pillen

Oklahoma – Governor Kevin Stitt

Wyoming – Governor Mark Gordon

More governors may be added to the forum as schedules permit.

Below is a list of previous announced moves to relocate firearm business headquarters and expand production to new states:

  • Alabama
    • Kimber expanded production to Troy, over Yonkers, N.Y. It later relocated the corporate headquarters to Alabama.
  • Arkansas
    • Sig Sauer established ammunition production in Jacksonville in 2017 and recently announced it would expand production.
    • Fiocchi Ammunition announced in 2020 it was establishing production in Little Rock.
  • Florida
    • Dark Storm Industries is relocating production from Oakdale, N.Y., to Titusville, Fla.
  • Georgia
    • Norma Precision Ammunition announced in 2022 it was establishing a U.S, headquarters, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution in Garden City, Ga.
    • Remington Firearms announced the company will establish a new headquarters and expand production in LaGrange.
    • Taurus USA moved from Florida to Bainbridge, Ga., in 2019.
    • Check-Mate Industries moved from Babylon, N.Y., to Thomasville in 2018.
  • Iowa
    • Les Baer moved from restrictive Illinois to LeClaire, Iowa, in 2007.
    • Lewis Machine & Tool Company (LMT) left Illinois after 40 years to relocate to Iowa in 2019.
  • Mississippi
    • Olin Corporation’s Winchester Ammunition moved most production from East Alton, Ill., to Oxford in 2011.
  • North Carolina
    • Sturm, Ruger and Co. expanded production in Mayodan in 2013.
  • Pennsylvania
    • Kahr Arms moved their headquarters to Greely, Penn., from New York after the state rushed through passage of the SAFE Act.
  • South Carolina
    • American Tactical Imports relocated 100 jobs and its manufacturing from Rochester, N.Y., to Summerville, S.C., in 2013.
    • PTR Industries left Connecticut for Aynor in 2013, where it set up shop.
  • Tennessee
    • Smith & Wesson announced it is establishing a new headquarters and production facilities in Marysville, Tenn.
    • Beretta moved firearm production and engineering and design to Gallatin, Tenn., from Maryland in 2015 over concerns of increasingly strict gun control legislation.
  • Texas
    • Mossberg expanded production in Eagle Pass, Texas, in 2013, instead of growing its New Haven, Conn., plant.
    • Colt Competition moved from Canby, Ore., to Breckenridge, Texas, in 2013.
  • Wyoming
    • Magpul Industries left Boulder, Colo., after the state passed magazine restrictions and moved production to Laramie, Wyo.
    • Weatherby Inc.’s Adam Weatherby announced at SHOT Show in 2018 he was moving the company from California to Sheridan, Wyo.
    • Accessories maker HiViz announced in 2013 they were leaving Fort Collins, Colo., over restrictive gun control legislation to Laramie.
    • Stag Arms announced in 2019 they were opening their new facility in Cheyenne, Wyo., after leaving their former headquarters in New Britain, Conn.
    • Kel-Tec announced plans in 2022 to expand production and bring 250 jobs to Rock Springs, Wyo.