Cabot shows off meteors, mammoths, and affordable luxury at SHOT Show

Damascus steel 1911 with mammoth tooth grips

Las Vegas, Nevada - High quality firearms and Cabot Guns go hand-in-hand. Cabot's President Rob Bianchin has a simple philosophy when it comes to high quality guns. "Life's too short to shoot an ugly gun," he says with a laugh. Utilizing 100% American-made products, the company strives for excellence in every aspect. From the time Cabot starts with raw 4140 billet American steel to the time one of their custom 1911s are complete, it takes a total of four months. Creating the slide and frame alone takes 30 hours per gun. With that time, however, comes extreme precision.

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Museum staff sets up exhibit at first SHOT Show

Installing firearms in the NRA Booth

Las Vegas, Nevada - I got up at 5am to make a five-hour, 8am flight to Las Vegas. I landed around 10:30am due to the miracle of time zones. After running around to get my luggage, a rental car, and pick up my shipment, I made it to the Sands Expo and Convention Center for my first experience at SHOT Show.

Having followed the #SHOTShow hashtag on Twitter, I knew that many people had already arrived and begun setting up days before me. I was afraid that the NRA booth was going to be one of the last ones set up because of me … WRONG!

If you think big gun shows are hectic when they’re open to the public, they’re even more crazy during set-up! Aisles disappear in a sea of wooden crates as you bob and weave around half-assembled displays and listen to the beeping of machinery moving things around at the booths.

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What would SHOT Show have been like 160 years ago?

SHOT Show 1855 Fairfax, Virginia - Since beginning in 1979, SHOT Show has become one of the premier firearms industry event of the year. Those who are able to attend circle the date on their calendars; those who are unable curse under their breath.

As I was packing up amazing and historic guns for SHOT Show from the NRA Museums, I was led down a path of historical whimsy: what would SHOT Show have been like 160 years ago in 1855?

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NRA News highlights .45 caliber SIG 220 carried by Curator's brother

.45 caliber Sig Sauer pistol in the NRA Museum lab

Fairfax, Virginia - Everyone collects something. Be it action figures or coins or stamps or cars, odds are there's a boatload of something you've stashed away for your very own. For Philip Schreier, senior curator for NRA Museums, it's guns. And though Phil's collection is impressive, there are a few pieces that stand out.

Not because they're rare or worth a boatload of cash mind you, but because of the intrinsic value. He highlighted one such piece on yesterday's episode of Curator's Corner. A SIG Sauer P220. And what makes this pistol so valuable to Phil?

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New guy takes National Firearms Museum on the road to first SHOT Show

View of the Las Vegas strip from the Venetian Hotel

Fairfax, Virginia - When I came to the NRA in January 2014 as the Firearms Specialist, I missed the SHOT Show by a week. (Why I thought they’d send the brand new guy even if I had been there is something I hadn’t thought about!)

At any rate, plans for the 2015 SHOT Show are well underway and it will be my inaugural attendance. Add to that fact that I’m the only NRA Museums staff member going and it could prove to be a baptism by fire.

What goes into planning the NRA Museums’ involvement at SHOT Show, you ask? Well, first and foremost, we have to decide what firearms we’re going to display in the booth. This involves a number of questions, including: what are our themes, what went last year, what are the crowd favorites, and so on.

More on prepping the NRA Museum for SHOT Show ...

2-inch barreled revolver the gold standard for Railway Mail Service officers

.38 caliber Colt Banker's Special at the NRA Museum in Fairfax

Fairfax, Virginia - When Senior Curator Philip Schreier makes way to the stage you know something big is about to happen. The NRA Museum guru swims with the big boys after all. So why did he bring out a tiny little Banker's Special for last night's episode of Curator's Corner?

"It might be little but it’s got a big bark," he said with a gleam in his eye.

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Wooden Guns, new champs and shooting celebrities top 2014 favorites

a 1911 made entirely from wood at the 2014 SHOT Show

Fairfax, Virginia - It's been a hell of a year.

In 2014, NRAblog spent time with old friends, made time to squeeze off a few rounds, and found time to recrown a sitting champ - great stories all. And while there is value in every story, even those that gone to the dogs, only a few have the wherewithal to land in the top 5.

See Lars' top 5 stories from 2014 ...

.38 caliber revolver was the standard for stateside law enforcement

Colt Commando on display at the NRA Museum

Fairfax, Virginia - As most of us are recovering from holiday cheer and a deluge of family, the boys from NRA News are back with another edition of Curator's Corner. Continuing his salute to law enforcement, NRA Museum Senior Curator Philip Schreier breaks out a 1940s Colt Commando.

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Museum Director highlights galleries of the National Firearms Museum

NRA Museums Director Jim Supica with a a Treeby chain rifle in the National Firearms Museum

Fairfax, Virginia - earlier this year, we told you about Ben Philippi's visit to the National Firearms Museum. There to interview Museum Director Jim Supica for his new book, Ben also brought along a few extra things.

Take a tour of the NRA's National Firearms Museum ...

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