Today was the opening day of SHOT Show. Very excited to see what's new, who's new, and what exciting products are being shown for the first time. As we have in the past we are looking to expand our offerings this year, if there's something great to add. Looking forward to what this week will bring.
We have added a SHOT Show Page on our Home Page so please check it out.
2017 was a very interesting year for us. We added Athlon
to the stable of brands that we carry. We feel all of these were great additions. Companies that bring quality products, great customer service and value to their brands.
My first meeting this year was with Leica
. I wasn't sure what to expect as last year Terry Moore, long standing icon of Leica Sports Optics
retired after SHOT. Thankfully and brilliantly, Leica
promoted from within and my long time friend Brian was put in charge of Sports Optics. It's great when we can continue working with folks that we've built relationships with over years and in this case decades
They showed the new members of their Geovid family, the Geovid HD-B 3000 and HD-R 2700
. This new line of Geovid binoculars offer the longest range of any Class 1 laser product, a completely new LED display with decimal figures, new symbols, Micro SD Card Programming and extremely fast scanning modes.
We discussed customer service as this has been a hot button topic. Last year they tripled the staff and in 2018 they will be doubling that. They are putting Care back into Customer Care. When any product is sent in for service the customer will be contacted in 1-2 business days. They are on a mission to be #1 in service. So happy about this.
Stop # 2 of the morning was with Athlon Sports Optics
and to say I was excited would be an understatement. We opened up with Athlon
towards the end of 2017 and they have entered our offerings by storm. They offer a line of both Hunting and Tactical Riflescopes, Binoculars, Red-Dots and Spotting Scopes. The interesting thing about Athlon
is that they have many parallel products to other very popular brands and manage to offer their items for 20-40% lower priced than the competition without cutting corners. Great quality, great customer service, great variety of offerings and lower prices. Hmmmmmm. The reason I was so excited is that I've been working with these guys for a few months but have never met them. Time to put faces with the voices that I've been working closely with on the phone for the past few months.
New Product announcements include:
Cronus BTR (Tactical)
210200 1-6x24, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 24mm, ATSR2 SFP IR MOA Reticle $1,099.99
210108 4.5-29x56, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 34mm,APLR FFP IR MOA Reticle $1,799.99
210110B 4.5-29x56, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 34mm, APRS FFP IR MIL Reticle (Brown) $1,799.99
210108B 4.5-29x56, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 34mm, APLR FFP IR MOA Reticle (Brown) $1,799.99
Ares ETR (Tactical)
212100 4.5-30x50, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 34mm, APRS1 FFP IR MIL Reticle $1,199.99
212101 4.5-30x50, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 34mm, APRS2 FFP IR MOA Reticle $1,199.99
212100B 4.5-30x50, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 34mm, APRS1 FFP IR MIL Reticle (Brown) $1,199.99
212101B 4.5-30x50, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 34mm, APLR2 FFP IR MOA Reticle (Brown) $1,199.99
Midas TAC (Tactical)
213070 4-16x50, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 30mm, APRS2 FFP MIL Reticle $589.99
213075 6-24x50, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 30mm, APRS2 FFP MIL Reticle $629.99
213050 2.5-15x50, Capped, Side Focus, 30mm, SFP, AHMR IR MOA $489.99
213051 2.5-15x50, Capped, Side Focus, 30mm, SFP, IR BDC600A $489.99
Argos BTR (Tactical)
214070 10-40x56, Direct Dial, Side Focus, 30mm, SFP, BLR MOA $399.99
216010 4-12x40, Capped , Side Focus, 1 inch, SFP, 22 RimFire $139.99
311003 Cronus Tactical 7-42x60 ED with Ranging Reticle (Grey) $999.99
311003T Cronus Tactical 7-42x60 ED with Ranging Reticle (Tan) $999.99
501001 2000Y Rangefinder (Grey) $449.99
502003 1 Mile Rangefinder (Grey) $369.99
For those of you not familiar with Athlon please check out:
Argos BTR Riflescope Review
posted by a Ballistics Analyst with the NYPD
Ares Spotting Scope Review
from a customer who purchased one
I told them I'd like to be able to offer an exciting "get the brand out there" promotion and we worked out a slammin' deal for you.
reduced from $249.99 to only $199.99
reduced from $279.99 to only $219.99
reduced from $319.99 to only $249.99
reduced from $349.99 to only $269.99
These are for sure a best buy opportunity. Check out these scopes and you'll be thrilled you did.
Next stop Kowa
. For those of you who read my report each year you may recall that my friend Paul joined Kowa
right before SHOT last year. We had a slow start of things working together, however, we managed to get together on some great promotions in 2017 and together we got the Kowa
name out there to more than just the birding community. There was this Kowa Genesis 8x33 vs Swarovski 8x32 EL Binoculars
review posted on SnipersHide that woke a few folks up to the fact that Kowa
has some notably optics.
Their TSN-55mm Compact Spotting Scope
was released towards the end of 2017 and was a huge success. Super high quality in a tiny lightweight package. I'd put this scope up against pretty much any 65mm spotter and you'll choose the Kowa for quality and the size and weight are sooooo tiny.
I headed on over to Hawke
. Every year I tell myself I will wait for the floor plan to be released so I can make my appointments intelligently (without having to run from end to end or downstairs to upstairs and then back down and over again). Oh well, maybe next year, lol
We first met with and brought Hawke
on board at SHOT 2016. We did not do a great deal with them in 2016, however, that certainly changed in 2017. Their Endurance Series
Binoculars and riflescopes were a very big seller for us and we received amazing feedback from our customers. Great optics for the surprisingly low pricing.
This year looks exciting with new products being released.
Their Frontier line
was enhanced with FFP and Tactical Turrets. They revamped the Endurance line with longer eye-relief and a wide angle optical system in 13 new models. The Vantage
includes 3 new wide-angle 30mm riflescope models, while the Sidewinder line
has been enhanced with 2 FFP models to expand the offering their long range model offerings.
I am very excited about Hawkes
commitment to the industry and their customers. Listening to what folks have been asking for and responding with upgrades in their already successful product lines. All while keeping their pricing realistic.
I did give them some crap about their lack of marketing for their Spotting Scopes
as most people aren't even aware that they offer them. Which is a pity because their Spotting Scopes
have eye relief of up to 20mm which is way better than almost everything else on the market and for folks wearing glasses this is HUGE.
Next in my crazy busy day was Leupold
. Mid-2017 the Leupold
representative that I had been working with for a couple of years left the company and I was assigned a new guy. Those of you who know me can imagine how I reacted, lol. As it turned out I was upgraded
In September Dan made a trip to NY to meet with me and we had an extensive meeting covering everything from product availability issues, customer service and the direction he saw Leupold
going and our involvement with that. He seemed genuinely interested in growing the company and taking it beyond what it is. There's growing pains as with any company that's been around a long time as there's constant changes within and all around. I understand this better than most as Camera Land
entered its 61st year this past November and things have definitely changed since we opened in 1957.
New product announcements include:
The Mark 5HD. You can click here for the full announcement and details
and their VX-Freedom. The VX-Freedom is a replacement for the VX-1's and VX-2's and it seems to be a decent scope. Running $199.99 - $299.99 it's a nice entry level scope worth checking out.
Last stop today was with great friends at Swarovski & Kahles
. We've been a Swarovski
dealer for a couple of decades now so it's great seeing all the folks here. A few have been here a long time and the only time I get to see them is here at SHOT so I really look forward to catching up. OH, and I get to see all the new toys.
2017 was a great year at Camera Land
for both Swarovski
. Our sale grew with Swarovski Spotting Scopes
and their Z3 Riflescopes
. The Kahles Riflescopes
were impossible to keep up with as stock was difficult to come by and once we received a delivery it sold out rather quickly.
New announcements include:
KAHLES K318i Ultrashort: "The K318i is perfection packed into an ultrashort housing. To achieve highest performance standards despite short-build design it took many years of development and the latest technologies. The optical system with it's wide field of view and a brilliant, exceptional high contrast image sets new standards for ultrashort riflescopes". Please click here for all the detail on this new scope
This scope is a serious offering by Kahles and I think it will be a very big seller for them.
Swarovski announced their new CL Companion binoculars click this link for details
. They made it small and light and when I put it up to my eyes the ease and comfort of view was amazing. It's available in 8x30 and 10x30 with your choice of 3 different style cases. Very nice addition to their line-up.
I cannot believe I scheduled so many meetings for the first day. You'd have thought I would have learned after all these years coming here. Once again I will say.....Never again.
Remembering from years past how great it felt on my dried out throat I stopped on the way back to my room for an ice cream cone. I went with a double scoop, Vanilla and Caramel and it was as great as it was last year.
OK, Day 1 done. Tomorrow is another day