West Coast Correspondent
On the Cover,
Cover-twins and Sure Shots Mayokia and Michelle were born in Minneapolis and moved to Texas when they were 11 years old. The twins began shooting with their father when they were 13.
See more pics from the cover photo shoot!
Shooting the World's
The Littlest Sure Shot
Carrin and Niki’s Excellent SHOT Show Adventure
A conversation between Sure Shots leaders Carrin Welch and Niki Jones
When Niki and Carrin got the opportunity to represent Sure Shots Magazine with press passes for the 2014 SHOT Show, the firearms industry’s largest gathering with attendees from all over the world, it was a no-brainer. They immediately booked the flight to Las Vegas and a room at the Palazzo, and started counting down the days. It was their first time, and though they had heard it was enormous and overwhelming, they had no idea…
Carrin: I was really excited to go to the SHOT show, mostly because I am a gear freak and wanted to see the latest and greatest! And I was looking forward to spending some time with Niki in VEGAS!
Niki: My main focus for attending the show was to finally meet all the amazing sponsors and supporters of Sure Shots face to face. Also, I was really psyched for Media Day at the Range!
C: With over 1600 Vendor booths, we knew we would have to be very selective in what we wanted to see, because we were only going to be there for 2.5 days!
N: Thank GOD for the SHOT show app—we were able to plot a plan of attack!
C: I know, that app really saved us time and energy! But before the show started, there was Media Day at the Range!! I was really excited to get to see what the manufacturers had brought out to test and evaluate. I think my favorites were the Beretta Nano and the Black Rain Ordnance .308 suppressed rifle. And it was cool to learn about Simunitions and all the training opportunities their product offers.
N: Media Day at the Range was AWESOME. I was expecting a total madhouse, but it was very well-run and pretty laid back. I really liked shooting the Beretta ARX100. I loved how smoothly it shot, and like that it can be completely disassembled with no tools at all. Also awesome was the OSS suppressor, developed with HK416 in mind... really neat technology!
C: I loved meeting people who were excited about their products and wanted to talk about them. Joe at Devil Dog Arms is very supportive of female shooters and showed us some of the ultra light ARs they have on the market. Glock had their two newest pistols out, the 41 & 42. That was a very popular booth. We even met some other Sure Shots: Sure Shot Game Calls… how nice were those guys?!
N: They were great, and how funny was their "Feral Frenzy" Wild Hog call? We should have gotten one. It was a super-fun, happy day! We didn't want to leave, did we? But we had to go home and get ready for our Sure Shots Magazine West Coast Correspondent Nikki Raye's dinner meet and greet, and then the infamous Battle Comp kickoff party!
C: Nikki Raye's dinner party was great, and it was awesome to meet so many people we knew online but had never met face to face, like Regina Milkovich, who is really cool. Then it was on to the Battle Comp party… When the car pulled up to the Leatherneck Club, we weren't sure we were in the right spot, there were so many bikers. But, like we do, we rolled with it. Alan from Battle Comp sure knows how to throw a party! It was a blast—we ran into many friends and some new faces we'd met since we arrived. And then there were bagpipes!!
N: They definitely know how to kick a SHOT Show off right! But, we were good girls and went home pretty early so that we'd have enough rest for Day 1 of the show!
C: We were up early and out the door, we had a lot of appointments we had to make. And Niki's Froglube booth appearance was that morning.
N: Yup! It was pure madness running to all our appointments—thank goodness we had done a dry run the day before with our trusty map app! Also we had a great sit-down with Brandy and Mike from TacGirls. And, of course, Nikki Turpeaux's Firearms Radio Network TV segment was exciting to be a part of!
C: While we were maneuvering through the show, I was looking for products for women. Not just pink and sparkly guns and jewelry, but other useful products, like bags, grips, and gear designed for women shooters. I wasn't disappointed—the firearms industry has definitely taken notice of us and are starting to develop more products for women who want to train. I was also able to track down Jim & Nanci from Firebird Precision, the company that manufactures the TAC-12 parts I modified my MKA-1919 with (from my article in SSM Issue 5). They were really nice and showed me their new "HELI-HUNTER SPECIAL EDITION" shotgun. And, of course, I want one!
N: The Bond Arms people were great; how cute was that little derringer? And Bond Girl Amy was rad! It was also really fun to finally meet Dan Coonan, he's a character! And Coonan has been supportive of the Sure Shots for a long time now, so it was nice to thank him face to face.
C: Dan was really nice, and they had a light purple version of their .357 Magnum that was drool-worthy. It was such a long day, it was super exciting and tiring, but we still had things to do!
N: Yup. We had to go get ready for the Froglube reception! Good thing it was practically in the same hotel as we were... I don't think my feet could've handled any further! It was cool to hang out with Stacy Lasky and her hubby who created Froglube, and Clover of course! And we met yet another girl we know well online but had yet to meet face to face... Melissa Gilliland! It was a great collection of Froglube's Girls of the Gun sponsored shooters. It was nice how they had each of us come up and talk about what all we do, and even nicer when they announced our little Sure Shot Vanessa Aguilar as their latest sponsored shooter!
C: I know! We are so proud of Vanessa! Then we headed back to our room and, thankfully, went to bed. Day One was CRAZY! Day Two was a little more relaxed, as we didn't have any appointments to make. So we really got to walk around and meet new people, find some friends, and look at products. Nikki Raye was in the London Bridge Trading/2 Vets Arms booth with her new covert rifle pack, which you may remember it from the last issue of Sure Shots Magazine (issue 6). We ran into the guys from Crosstac, who are great supporters of the Sure Shots. And Niki fell in love with a white LWRC SBR that looked like a mini Snow Queen! One exhibitor that stood out was S.O. Tech. These guys are doing something really great. Everything they produce is handmade in the USA by veterans. They offer all kinds of tactical and safety gear, but the clear winner in popularity at their booth was their Battle Bear.
N: I loved how each Battle Bear is made in LA at the VA Hospital, with all the proceeds going right back there. Of course I had to take one home! It got a lot of attention as I walked around the show with it the rest of the day.
C: Not only as you walked around SHOT, but also at the hotel, and the airport. Pretty much everywhere we went, that bear made people smile. Even the TSA agents!
N: Aaaaaannnnnd…. then it was time to leave! Why didn't we believe everyone when they told us 2.5 days at SHOT wasn't enough?!
C: Heading home so early in the show was hard, there were many more things to see and do, and parties we had to miss. But duty called and we HAD to go home and go back to our day jobs. I don't think we can accurately express the scope of SHOT. As if Las Vegas isn’t enough of a sensory overload, add all those booths full of guns and gear, about 67,000 attendees, and you've got yourself one potentially overwhelming experience. What it ended up being for us was a lot of fun, interesting, exciting, and eye-opening
N: TOTALLY overwhelming, COMPLETELY exhausting, but 100% FUN! Can't wait till next year!!!
More things at SHOT we loved:
Summit Night Vision Group's PVS-7 Night Vision Goggle - summitnightvision.com
Kekki Professional Hunting Rifles made in Italy - bsplanet.com
Mag Tactical Systems Ultra Light AR15 (4.8lbs!) - magtacticalsystems.com
Unique AR's Customized Forends and Hand Guards - unique-ars.com
AlumaGrips Handgun Grips - alumagrips.com
Kinetiz Research Group Whiskey-3 Chassis (W3C) - kineticresearchgroup.com
White River Knife and Tool Classic Series Knives - whiteriverknives.com
Red Stitch Tactical Pepper Popper Target - redstitchtactical.com
Perazzi MXS 12 gauge shotgun - perazzi.com
Moonstruck Leather Diva Sleeve Cognac Acid Wash Cowhide Leather Holster - moonstruckleather.com