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2018 SHOT Show Day One

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This year SHOT Show is celebrating its 40th year, and while it hasn’t always been held in Las Vegas, today it is firmly rooted at the Sands Convention Center in Vegas. Once again the showroom floor was bustling with exhibitors, buyers and media members, and all the top brands in the industry had plenty of new and exciting products to showcase. Once again we’re covering SHOT with quick first impressions and more in depth coverage coming later this week / early next week. We were lucky enough to check out many new products with frequent contributor Trampas Swanson and the entire Swanson Media Group team, which needless to say was a privilege in itself. Trampas will have his own best of SHOT items coming next week on this blog.

Trampas Swanson on the SHOT 2018 floor.


Kryptek has some great new apparel items coming for Summer/Fall 2018 including a cooling dedicated system in August, a silent-focused hunting system in October and a insulated down system in mid-November. Up first, the Valhalla Collection features Kryptek Cooling technology that keeps the wearer extra cool in hot environments. Combine this with moisture wicking, quick dry materials and Kryptek has a new entry in the hot weather hunting market.


As the season progresses, hunters will love the NR-Fleece and NR-Softshell models that employ noise reduction styling and technology to maximize stealth in the field. You’ll find this technology in both Dalibor and Cadog collections. As a bonus these lines are extremely water resistant and breathable so they’ll function well for the changing conditions of mid-season hunts.


When the weather turns cold, the Kryptek Insulation Collection offers premier warmth in the field with Kryptek’s signature Defender Treated Down. This variety of down is treated to increase water resistance, and the down material itself doesn’t bunch when it gets wet like untreated down. These garments are also packable which is a nice bonus for down clothing.



Leupold has an exciting 2018 coming up, and while last year the launched a completely new thermal line (now the number one thermal scouting products in the US) and several exciting riflescope lines, this year is set to rival the last for the renown optics manufacturer. First off, Leupold touted a new interactive way to explore their new products with touch screen displays that only activate when you walk up to the product. The result was an interesting new way to explore products from America’s darling optics company. Leupold also has a new tagline this year, “Be Relentless,” because as we all know, they make products for relentless people. Leupold has simplified their previous lineup in some ways, which may sound like a step back but is actually a step forward. This move makes Leupold easier to shop for both dedicated fans and first time users.

Since last year’s thermal launch was so successful (LTO Tracker at SHOT and LTO Quest later that year), Leupold has upgraded both devices by adding increased resolution and longer detection distance. These models, the LTO Tracker HD and the LTO Quest HD, offer extreme performance at an amazing price point of around $600. This year you can check out this extremely popular product with more features and better resolution than ever! In another great development from the brand, Leupold is launching three new laser rangefinder models including an impressive top of the line model that ranges up to 2800 yards on non-reflective targets and retails at just under $500.


When it comes to world class scopes, the Mark series from Leupold is popular with shooters who demand more out of their riflescopes. This year Leupold is launching the Mark 5 series to bring all their recent developments to their ultra-popular tactical line. Built around the Twilight Max Light Management System, the Mark 5 promises to offer even more to shooters hooked on the Mark 4.


Finally, Leupold has a great new line for entry level shooters that want an American-built riflescope they can trust but aren’t quite ready for higher-end options like the VX-3HD, VX5-HD or VX6-HD. The Leupold VX-Freedom offers just this with a price point around $200 and the golden ring quality we’ve all come to expect from Leupold. This scope combines the best of the VX-1 and VX-2 series scopes as well as Leupold’s remarkable Twilight Max Light Management System to create a scope that will beat its competitors every time, hands down. Very soon we’ll have the VX-Freedom and these other great products available for sale at Gritr Sports.


We’ll be adding more coverage on the Gritr Sports blog as the week at SHOT progresses.

Trampas Swanson

Born and raised in eastern NC, started shooting firearms at age 6, and life long hunter. Retired Deputy Sheriff serving as a supervisor and SWAT sniper unit with a background in narcotics and crime scene investigations task forces. Now living in Florida as a husband, new father, local gunsmith, firearms instructor and freelance writer for various firearms publications.

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