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Monday, January 17, 2011

Turning Powder Into Noise: Media Day at the Range 2011

Each year on the day before the SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show), many of the manufacturers invite members of the media out to test-fire their products. With the Show in Vegas this year, the shoot was held at the Boulder City Gun Club. Everything from .17HRM bolt action rifles to .357 revolvers and from shotguns to full-auto submachine guns were available to shoot. It was a great opportunity to try new guns, shoot new calibers, look through new scopes, and generally have fun shooting someone else’s ammo. Chris Denham, my editor at Western Hunter, and I arrived just after one of the big tour busses, but preregistering made a big difference getting through the line!

After stopping by the Swarovski booth to visit with Rob Lancelotti and Tom Hogan, we ran into Craig Jamison and Ron Mason from We were all a little antsy to turn powder into noise so Chris and I headed to the Steyr booth to shoot a .338 Lapua. We checked out the green lasers from Viridian, shot crossbows from TenPoint, hit a 24” gong at 961 yards with a Zeiss riflescope atop a Blaser rifle, blew multiple holes in the paper with Winchester’s new personal defense shotshell load for a Taurus Judge, broke triples with a Beretta shotgun, and shot a muzzleloading shotgun.

Steyr .338 Lapua

Chris Denham shooting nearly 1,000 yards with a Blaser and Zeiss riflescope.

All-in-all, it was another great day that made me want to pinch myself! I shot more guns and more calibers at more targets and more distances that a guy should be able to. I tried new products (some that impressed me and some that did not) and got to rub elbows with some of the best-known writers and television stars of the day. The one thing I left with, however, was the question: who are all these so-called media people? I feel pretty well connected in the outdoor industry and I didn’t recognize half of the attendees. Someone said there were over 600 members of the media, but I think 450 of them just have a little website somewhere… wink, wink!!

Turning powder into noise with a muzzleloading shotgun!