- 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.
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: