Law Enforcement and Tactical Gear played a significant role in boosting SHOT Show 2008 to new levels in the records books. NSSF officials report the event category possible as the industry gathered for the 30th annual trade show. There were impressive increases in the number of attendees, the number of exhibitors and the amount of square feet the show covered in and out of Las Vegas Convention Center.
The greatest growth in recent SHOT Shows has been within the Law Enforcement and Tactical Gear section. The section has grown so large, NSSF officials consider it to be a "show within the show."
"The law enforcement and tactical exhibitors now occupy such a large part of SHOT Show that if they were gathered together for a separate show, it would be the second largest such event in the United States," said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president.
"Traffic was non-stop at both our law enforcement and hunting booths. In fact, it was so busy that it was tough for anyone working the booths to even take a break," said Steven Giordano, Aim-point director of commercial sales.
Giordano captures the overall state of the show, as dealers, distributors and other buyers swarmed the convention center, especially the L.E./Tactical sections.
Beretta USA drew large crowds at its law enforcement booth, as the company rides a wave of recent L.E. contracts, most centered around the growing Storm family of weapons. The company's L.E. efforts also extend to Benelli tactical shotguns and Sako and Tikka sniper rifles.
The Storm px4 full-size pistol and its subcompact variant offer changeable grip inserts to fit different and sizes, as well as different frames and barrel lengths for all uniformed and plainclothes duties. Teamed with Cx4 carbines and Rx4 rifles, they have been adopted by a number of L.E. agencies.
Matteo Recanatini, marketing manager for the L.E./DOD Division, pointed out the goal of Beretta's Total Solution approach, which brings together a broad array of firearms, less-lethal systems, training programs, armorer courses and "more to meet all L.E. agencies' needs." He also reaffirmed Beretta's sponsorship of Project Allegiance, which provides at no cost a $10,000 line-of-duty death benefit for peace officers who purchase or are issued a Px4 Storm pistol.
"We are absolutely committed to our L.E. dealers and customers," Recanatini said. "And, we're actively seeking new dealers across the country."
At the Mossberg booth, Paul Hahn, owner of Shooting Specialties LLC in Kalispell, Mont., praised the company's tactical shotguns for their versatility.
"And it seems that regardless of which versions I order and receive, I can't keep them on the racks in my shop. They sell out that fast," Hahn said.
Hahn, a retired police officer, has a significant customer base of cops, concealed-carry and self-defense citizens, and he reports that Mossberg's tactical shotguns, virtually all in 12-gauge, are a staple of his business.
"They are an excellent buy for the money," Hahn said. "And Mossberg is always coming up with new accessories and options," like breacher muzzles, which also make formidable impact weapons, and rails for mounting optics, lights and lasers.
"If you're not carrying them, you're missing out, and if you haven't looked at what Mossberg offers in a while, you owe it to yourself to check them out," Hahn advised.
Visit www.mossberg.com and click "Special Purpose."
Sig Sauer's booth was thick with dealers eager to handle the new SIG .556 SWAT rifle. Feature heavy, the rifle has a 16" military-grade, cold hammer-forged barrel, quad rail, flip-up combat front and rear sight system and a MAGPUL CTR Carbine Buttstock.
The new Sig Sauer P250 also received a lot of fingerprint time. The modular pistol's design permits changing caliber (9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and .45 ACP) and size (subcompact, compact and full).
Smith & Wesson has captured numerous L.E. contracts during the past year, a number of them for the M&P45.
"The M&P line of polymer pistols has been widely accepted in numerous police agencies across the globe. To date, 276 domestic law enforcement agencies have...