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6 things on my SHOT Show to-do list

Attending SHOT Show is a marathon event — here’s just a small selection of the booths I plan to visit in Vegas

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By Ronald Alley Jr.

After a long hiatus, I have summoned up the courage to visit SHOT Show 2024. Why do you need courage to attend this event? SHOT Show will overstimulate your senses with sights, sounds, smells and temptations. Many urges will lead to good and bad decisions, mostly with copious amounts of money spent. The fatigue of standing, walking, waiting in lines, pushing through masses of people and talking with folks will leave you spent at the end of each day. And there may be hunger and dehydration involved as the attendee pushes for “Just one more row of booths.” More than anything, you will need a vacation afterward.

Despite these hazards, I am attending and here’s what’s on my SHOT Show to-do list:


With the Earth awash in AR-15 manufacturers, the USA has a new player in town named CARACAL USA. Originating in the U.A.E. and with designers in other countries and companies, CARACAL USA offers a product line with both direct impingement and piston designs. I know readers will say, “Another AR-15 company?” just like they have been saying for years about the plethora of 1911 manufacturers. Well, if they can deliver a high-end rifle at a reasonable price point, why would anyone have an issue? The company offers prevalent designs of operation and numerous barrel length options. Geared toward both professional and civilian use, I want to see how well they have executed these products.

2. CMP – Civilian Marksmanship Program

I cannot think of another 501(c) organization that has served the shooting, marksmanship and competition arena better than the Civilian Marksmanship Program. CMP offers a product, service or event for every age category in the populace, embracing the values of America’s shooting public and keeping firearm history alive. Can anyone say John C. Garand?


My interest in visiting GLOCK this year is not for the display of their products or the bling of their booth. My interest is to see Glock’s commemoration of founder Gaston Glock after his recent passing on December 27, 2023. How will the company honor its founder? How will GLOCK herald a man who changed the handgun world forever? Gaston Glock almost invented the word, polymer. RIP to Gaston Glock.

4. SHOT Show – National Shooting Sports Foundation

This booth visit has one purpose and one purpose alone. I wish to advocate for a return of SHOT Show to an East Coast location. There was a time when SHOT Show was in Orlando, Florida, and it opened up attendance to many folks. Not only is Florida more accessible to the East Coast population base, but it is more “family friendly” in my opinion. I understand the complications, space limitations and logistics involved, but couldn’t the issues be resolved? I already stated that a visit to SHOT Show requires a vacation afterward, and doesn’t Florida define vacation? There’s no better place to review SHOT Show catalogs than on a Florida beach rubbing sand between toes. Let’s double down (a nice Vegas gambling term) on this!

5. BRK – Blue Ridge Knives

This company has a product catalog that could “choke a horse,” with knives mixing perfectly with guns and ammo. The company sources knives from around the world and is a well-known wholesaler in the industry. BRK has a couple of manufacturers that appeal to me, including LionSteel, Joker, Condor, Peltonen and Reiff, covering the spectrum from “beaters” to high-end. I am sure that BRK would back my play to move SHOT Show to Orlando, and let’s remember Randall Made Knives is in Orlando!

6. Any established manufacturer of reloading components

My intent here is to probe the current state of availability and pricing trends. Some manufacturers have already announced 2024 price increases. What impact has there been from COVID, world economics and world conflict? Ukraine, Israel, NATO and the USA all have a broad stake in ammo, powder, primers, cases and ammo production in general, but what happens next for the everyday consumer, enthusiast and shooter?

To my brothers and sisters in blue, keep the faith. To my brothers and sisters in the military, I am proud of you.

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About the author

Ronald Alley Jr. is an active police officer in Massachusetts approaching retirement (someday), with a military, firearms instruction and gun dealer background. He is a proud recipient of the U.S. Army Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge. Despite the constraints of time, between work and home life, he continues to learn, train and educate. He might be seen driving an old pickup truck, but could also be seen sporting a Randall Made Knife, a Heinie custom 1911 or an Omega watch. After all, a man has must have priorities and standards.