As you may have heard, I attended the annual NRA Show & Meetings this last weekend (frankly, I only go for the show; the internal machinations of the NRA interest me not in the least) and I did see a couple of things that were pretty darned neat.
The NRA Show is the largest consumer trade show in the shooting industry, with some 500 vendors showing their wares and everything open to any NRA member who wants to attend. It’s the average person’s version of the SHOT Show, albeit on a smaller scale.Many companies introduce new products at the NRA Show, and this year the big news was Glock. They had the first public showing of the Glock 43 (and the first general media event allowing gun writers to get their hands on the things) at this show. It drew huge crowds and I guarantee will become a best-seller in the industry.That being said, it wasn’t the neatest thing I saw. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice gun and I’m sure its owners will be tickled pink with it, but it didn’t turn me on.
There were two things I saw that, as a shooter, intrigued me.
First was some furniture. Yes, furniture. You may remember I’m a big fan of quick-access safes for safely staging firearms in the home, but they’re not always appropriate (nor necessary.) If you don’t have children (and children don’t visit your home), for instance, you might want to stage a gun for access where it won’t easily be found. If so, the folks at Secret Compartment Furniture have some very clever solutions for you.
Their furniture is very stylish and of superb quality. I’ve seen some concealment furniture in years past, but nothing to compare to this! It’s all Amish-built out of solid wood (no veneers, plywood, or particle board) and does a very good job of concealing handguns or long guns. I’m pretty savvy about such things, but one of their end tables baffled me until I was shown the little niche they’d built in. Their hallway table is particularly neat for hiding a rifle or shotgun.
Now the level of craftsmanship they sell doesn’t come cheap, but compared to designer furniture I’ve seen it’s really competitively priced and substantially higher quality than most. This is furniture you’d buy and hand down to your kids even if it didn’t have the concealment functions; it’s that good.
The second thing I saw was from a company called My Case Builder. We all carry around a lot of gear and some of us use hard cases filled with that diced “pick-and-pull” foam. That stuff falls apart pretty quickly and never really seems to fit the gear. For years I’ve looked at the custom cases audio professionals use, the stuff with the custom-cut high density foam, and wondered where I’d get that kind of case made for my rifles and pistols and what it would cost to have it done. I no longer wonder about either of those things!
My Case Builder brings that kind of professional, custom-fitted foam to YOUR case. (Of course they can sell you a case from your favorite manufacturer, but that’s not necessary — their business is really making the foam!) All you have to do is go to their website and start by specifying the size of your case, then simply pick from their dimensioned outlines of various guns (handguns and long guns) or accessories (scopes, magazines, etc.), lay them out as you want them, and you’re done!
They have a huge library of pre-measured cases and guns so in most cases you won’t need to measure anything. If for some reason they don’t have your precise gun, their online application includes a photo tracer that you can use to make the shape you need. It’s very slick and easy to do.
They’re not just about guns, either. If you have any sort of equipment that needs foam protection (camera gear, audio equipment, radio sets, tools, optics, and much more) they’ve probably got pre-made shapes in their library for you. I’m thinking about having them make some foam for an empty Zero Halliburton case that’s sitting up in my attic; now I just have to decide what I’ll be carrying in it!
In other news, I had a meeting with my web folks and based on what we discussed you’re going to see some big changes to this blog (and this site) over the coming months. I’m not saying any more, but keep your eyes peeled because I’m going to make it a whole lot easier for you to get the information you need and want!
-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-