A look back at the 2000 SHOT Show

10 Aug

I ran across an article on the 2000 SHOT Show and I thought it was interesting, looking back a decade, to see what was new and exciting in ‘Y2K’. Like every year, manufacturers introduced some real winners and some losers. Below are just a few highlights.

Smith & Wesson introduced their “new” Schofield Model 3, a modern version of the 1874 Smith & Wesson Model 3. It reportedly received much attention during the show. Being a S&W fan, I can remeber this pistol being at the top of my wish list (right next to a Shiloh Sharps) for a number of years.

Taurus introduced a titanium slide version of their PT-111 9mm Millennium pistol. The Millennium series, first introduced in 1998, has gone on to become a staple in Taurus’ semi auto line. I owned a steel slide PT-111 for a time and found it to be a decent, reliable pistol. Today Taurus catalogs the Millennium Pro (13 models from 32 ACP to 45 ACP) which is incorporates a number of enhancements over the original Millennium.

Kimber’s Classic 22 rimfire rifles were announced in 1999 but started shipping in 2000. The rifles didn’t make it to dealers the year before because they “weren’t up to [their] standards,” according to Dwight Van Brunt, vice president of Kimber marketing and sales. He claimed “these guns are better than the old Kimbers”. The rifle featured a new Kimber rimfire action with Mauser claw extractor and two-position safety.

Remington’s EtronX electronic ignition rifle drew large crowds at the 2000 SHOT Show. The rifle fired rounds “nearly instantly” using a standard 9-volt battery. To be fair, it was a 99% reduction in lock time compared to a standard Rem 700 trigger. Remington claimed “the elimination of lock-time makes a tremendous difference in accuracy”. Perhaps but the EtronX required a key to turn it on and off, a battery (when battery technology wasn’t what it is today), special primers and had an MSRP of $2,000. Not many people were interested in buying one. The EtronX was offered initially in .220 Swift, .22-250 Remington and .243 Win.

Marlin introduced the Model 1895M lever action chambered for Hornady’s then new belted magnum, the .450 Marlin. Based on the .458 Win Magnum case, the .450 Marlin was meant to be a modernized 45-70. I’m sure the first debate about the need for a .450 Marlin cartridge vs. up-loaded 45-70 loads occurred shortly after (and continues to this day).

Buck Knives brought their new Strider tactical folder, the model 880, to the 2000 SHOT Show. Designed by custom knifemakers Mick Strider and Duane Dwyer, the knife measured 9 3/8 inches open with 4-inch tanto blade. It featured premium blade steel, titanium liners and G-10 scales. I have one of these knives and it is huge – way too big to carry in your pocket. It’s also a blocky design and not terribly comfortable in your hand. They introduced a smaller folder of the same design (model 881) a year or two later that is much more practical to carry and use. Buck continued their affiliation with Strider through 2008, introducing a number of tactical folders and fixed blade knives.

Schrade debuted a new Tough Lock folder designed by Ron Lake and Michael Walker. It featured a blade of BG-42 steel, titanium hardware and a precision bevel in the blade tang that increased the knife’s locking capabilities. It was a good knife, but perhaps too little too late for the company. Imperial Schrade only produced knives for a few more years before closing their doors in 2004. Taylor Brands LLC purchased the brand and imports a line of knives under the Schrade name.

So that wraps-up my look back at the 2000 SHOT Show. Are there any significant gun or knife related introductions from Y2K that I missed?

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