SHOT SHOW and Marketing

by | 26 January 2022 | Discussions

It’s said that the spring-loaded mouse trap was patented in 1894. Ever since, inventors have been developing and marketing “a better mouse trap.” In fact, Hiram Maxim, inventor of the Maxim Gun, was said to have invented a mouse trap that automatically reset itself. The question has to be asked, however, if a mousetrap that’s worked well for over a century remains effective, why fall for the latest offering?

Sometimes we fall for the latest “new and improved” products because marketing tactics make us feel that if we don’t have them we’re missing out on something. The marketing industry is full of talented people who understand human nature, and who know how to make consumers feel that they need something new. The fact is, however, a mouse killed with a trap costing $2.00 is just as dead as one elegantly dispatched by the new and improved trap costing $150. The only difference is that you have $148.00 less in your pocket.

This brings us to the annual spectacle known as SHOT SHOW. Don’t get me wrong, this is an awesome event. It’s a place and time were industry insiders and specialists get to meet up with friends old and new, to network, and to see the latest developments. I’ve never been, yet it looks like a great time.

The problem is, every January I watch YouTube channels that highlight the latest and greatest from SHOT SHOW. They feature amazing firearms, scopes, ammo, and all manner of things tactical. It’s great to see how manufacturers are continually improving and tweaking products to be ever more effective.

When I watch these videos I sometimes start to think that what I have is not good enough. I’m tempted to think that my old Sig P228, my Beretta 92G Centurion, and my Sig P365 are outdated. In fact, they probably are. Yet, they along with my various rifles will handle just about any tactical scenario in which I’m likely to be involved. For me, it makes more sense to spend my limited funds on firearms training rather than on replacing my current setup and ammo supply with the new 8.6 Blackout and the 1:3 twist barrels designed to fire these rounds.

Certainly there are specialized operators who can take advantage of the very latest developments. I’m close friends with several in this category. Yet I’m not one of them. I’m and anthropologist who specializes in working in high-risk international areas, and who advises others who do the same.

For those of us who are not specialized operators, it’s important to avoid marketing tactics. It makes much more sense for us to spend our limited resources on things like outstanding training in firearms, Soft Skills and Tactics, and ensuring that our families will be well prepared and supplied to thrive in times of political and economic chaos. Sure, it would feel great to show off the very latest $4,750 long-range, suppressed mouse trap to our buddies at the range, yet it’s wise not to do so at the expense of caring for our families and enhancing our existing skills.

The above advice notwithstanding, I’m still going to watch the outstanding 2022 SHOT SHOW videos and dream about what it would be like to own even a better mousetrap than what I have now. After all, the new Aero Precision bolt action setup I saw on YouTube is just one of the many new products that look amazing!


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