Monday, April 16, 2012

NRA Annual Meeting 2012 - Final Thoughts

There will be more posts on individual things that caught my attention over the next few weeks, but here are some thoughts on the last day or so of the Annual Meeting:
  • If you go to an annual meeting and just want to walk the show floor and visit the souvenir store, I suggest you go on Sunday.  The crowds are much thinner, there are still 'squee' moments when you see people like Ted Nugent walking around, and some really good deals on the gear and souvenirs are to be had.
  • After going to all of the non-custom manufacturers and looking at their  9mm handguns, I can report that the front runners as of now are the Kahr  PM9 and the Browning High Power.  Next step is to go to Knob Creek, rent an example of the ones still under consideration, and run some bullets through them.  Decision and purchase will probably be made in time for a "Merry Christmas to me" present.
  • Hint to pistol makers:  What I want in a trigger is for little to no movement of the trigger without resistance, smooth resistance all the way to break, and a positive reset.  I want this out of the box, and am willing to pay reasonable prices to get it.  Telling me to get a trigger job or replace the whole darned trigger is unacceptable. 
  • Note to all vendors and manufacturers:  I don't need to see a very well put together member of the opposite sex in a skimpy outfit to notice your product.  
  • I was tempted to get a small MP3 player with a loud speaker, put "All By Myself" on a continuous loop, and hide it in the HS Precision booth, but I just couldn't find the time.
  • I didn't realize how much a difference a Timney trigger made on a Mosin-Nagant until I tried it at their booth.  They had me at 'click'.  And the look on OldNFO's face when I told him I was putting a $90 dollar Timney trigger in an $89 dollar Mosin was priceless.
  • In related news, I got no traction from any of the major rifle manufacturers when I asked if they would consider making a modern bolt action rifle in 7.62x54r.  Sigh.
  • The amount of artistry and craftsmanship that goes into a lot of the firearms that were on display was breathtaking.  Even a plain wooden stock on an AK clone can be beautiful if its well polished and oiled.  Some manufacturers have begun trying to make their polymer guns and rifle stocks more attractive to the eye, and I think that's a good trend.  All firearms need to be functional and comfortable to use, but no-one said they had to be ugly for the sake of ugly.
  • Just like last year in Pittsburg, I heard several locals and lots of people at the convention comment on how polite and well-mannered those attending the meeting were, both at the convention and out in the restaurants and hotels.  I have been to quite a few technology conferences, and I never see so many people saying "Excuse me", "Please", and "Thank you" when the target audience is technology geeks.
  • I also noticed that there were a lot of families with children at this year's meeting, as well as women either alone or in groups.  That bodes well for the continuation and expansion of the NRA in particular and gun culture in general.  It probably can't and won't stay the way it is now, but it should continue to evolve into something even better.
  •  Only in the gunblogger community have I been among a group of people whom I have only met in person once or twice, yet they have known me for years. We had men and women from all backgrounds and corners of the country sitting in an Irish pub, talking about politics, family, guns, and whatever, and no-one looked like they felt out of place.  Heck, at one point we had a giant from Texas walking around in a kilt, and all we did was smile.


Anonymous said...

Did you see or talk to Tom Gresham the guy that hosts the Gun Talk Radio on Sundays, He was in a booth doing live broadcast.

DaddyBear said...

No, unfortunately. I got to shake a few hands and exchange some words with celebrities when I accidentally ran into them. There is just that much to see and do when you're there.

ZerCool said...

Re the Sunday deals - as I think you remember from last year, several of us cleaned up at the KaBar booth that afternoon. MrsZ got a pair of Revision Hellfly shooting glasses from whatever booth Caleb was at, and then she went around asking a few vendors if there was anything they didn't feel like shipping home. I'm told this works far better for a nice-looking blonde than a scary-looking dude.

We ended up with a PILE of nice targets; Dirty Bird, Shoot-n-See, etc.

ZerCool said...

And I thought you meant this "All By Myself".

Old NFO said...

LOL, yeah, you got me with the Timminy... :-) Good wrap up, I'll get mine up tomorrow. Enjoy the time talking and the dinners too!

Jennifer said...

Next year. Glad everyone had such a great time.

Stephen said...

Great update, thank you. I agree with you on a modern rifle chambered in 7.62x54. It's a no brainer.

DaddyBear said...

Z - I got a few things, but yeah, if you work it, you can pack an extra suitcase.

NFO - Same to you. It was great to see you.

Jennifer - Not sure about Houston, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get to Nashville.

Stephen - You'd think so, wouldn't you? It's become quite a common caliber, it's very accurate and powerful, and a bolt action for it shouldn't be difficult to come up with.

Jay G said...

As always, it was great seeing you and hanging around at the convention. Thanks for putting up with a hyperactive me... ;)

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