Second only to the term SHOT Show, Smith & Wesson was the most prevalent name at the show this year. I’m not sure how many booths bore the blue and white Smith & Wesson logo promoting everything from gun safes to clothing but I could have sworn I saw a Smith & Wesson tea set in one of the booths. Maybe I was mistaken.
Seriously, the list of products is rapidly expanding and I discussed this recently while chasing wild hogs with some of the S&W folks. A pet peeve of mine, and I have a vast collection of pet peeves, is the trend by some gun companies whereby they allow their legendary brand name to be applied to cheap products for a quick buck. They call this branding. I call it prostituting American icons.
For some reason it bugs me to see legendary firearm brand names on foreign made junk at discount retailer. This is not the case with Smith & Wesson and some other reputable outfits I could name. The guys at Smith & Wesson tell me they are very particular about the quality of products branded and I believe them. Everything I have used with the S&W logo has been top notch. A quality accessory, a watch for example, not only reflects well on the company but also allows the wearer to proudly display the fact he or she is a firearm enthusiast.
Smith & Wesson’s main focus remains on producing firearms and they proved it by introducing several interesting new handguns this year. The 460XVR is the most talked about of the new handguns and likely the most misunderstood. As usual, we have our facts straight on the ODB Shooting Forums but if you peruse some other Internet gun forums you’ll find comments claiming S&W was foolish to introduce a light 200-grain load in the new .45 caliber hand cannon.
Fact is it makes perfect sense for revolvers to take advantage of the advancements in bullet technology. There is no reason not to use more streamlined polymer tipped bullets of premium construction in order to extend the range of the hunting handgun. These light bullets are not ideal for all game but deer hunters will be able to take advantage of a flat trajectory heretofore unheard of in a wheel gun. The best part is you can still shoot the heavy slugs when needed.
I was well into day two of the Show when I began to reassess my initial opinion that there wasn’t much new and noteworthy. It’s a big show and sometimes it takes awhile to find the gems among the sequins. Following are some photos and brief comments on items I found of interest.