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Ipad vs. Shotgun

3 Sep

Interesting video of an Ipad taking a shotgun blast at short range.

Hat tip to Say Uncle blog.


Web Presence and Social Media in the Shooting Sports Industry

12 Aug

Everyone is buzzing about Smith & Wesson’s new web site, redesigned to deliver a stronger brand message and a better user experience. Key features of the new site include:

o Ease of use
o Ability to access product details without multiple windows and clicks
o Intuitive navigation
o Customized filters reduce user search time
o One click to view detailed product features
o 360-degree animation capability
o Flash technology

I spent some time on the redesigned site over the past several days and I agree that it provides a much nicer user experience. The site instantly draws your attention to new products like the Bodyguard and SD handguns and gives you one-click access to their various product lines (like the M&P line). Finding the specs for their new Bone Collector revolver for yesterday’s blog post did require a bit of clicking and searching though.

To gain full appreciation for the new site, I visited the Internet Archive for a look back at the 1999 Smith & Wesson site. To say that web sites have improved in the past 11 years is an understatement!

Of course it’s not just S&W who have great web sites these days. Ruger’s site is quite nice and I think Remington’s site provides a nice user experience. Other companies like Winchester Repeating Arms, Benchmade and CZ could use a facelift.

In my humble, non-techie opinion the shooting sports industry needs to fully embrace social media. Some companies, like Remington, already have and are actively engaged on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They also prominently display, via links and icons, the various social media outlets they participate in on their web site. Remington has been effectively using social media to create a buzz about their new Versa Max shotgun by providing ‘exclusive’ info to their friends and followers. Smith & Wesson is active on Twitter but they don’t list a link or icon on their web site. At least I couldn’t find anything during 10-15 minutes of searching.

The key word with social media is ‘engaged’. Users expect, or at least appreciate, interaction. This means following Twitter followers, adding fresh content and being responsive to Tweets, posts on Facebook and comments on YouTube. It’s not uncommon, for instance, to see corporate Twitter users with hundreds or thousands of followers not following anyone in return. This practice gives the impression that the company is only interested in providing a one way flow of information, not truely being interactive.

Laura Burgess Marketing provided some good commentary on social media in the shooting sports industry a few months ago. There was also an interesting post earlier this week over at Field Journals about the decline of traffic to hunting specific social sites (like Archery Talk and HuntingNet) reportedly due to an increase in users switching to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc. to discuss their hunting and shooting interests.

Premier Collector’s Firearms Auction of the Year

11 Aug

If you’re a fan of fine collectible firearms, then you must check out the Rock Island Auction’s online catalog for their September 10-12 auction.

There are hundreds of firearms to be auctioned off including one of the most desirable of all Winchester’s, estimated at $300,000 – 500,000! It is an extraordinary “One of One Thousand” Winchester first model 1876 lever action rifles. This fine gun is certainly above my pay grade but it’s fun to look at the pictures!

The 1876 is just one of 250 Winchesters to be auctioned off. There are also over 400 Colts, fine English and American doubles, and a array of American and European military arms.

There are even guns for those of us with a more modest budget. Consider this Smith & Wesson M&P model 10 revolver made between 1948-1951. It’s in excellent condition and is offered with the original box and hang tag. It’s estimated to be worth between $850-$1,200.

I’m going to be browsing through the catalog over the next few days and will post anything else that strikes my interest. Then I need to start convincing my good wife how much I need another gun 🙂

NRA Blog Posting Live from Camp Perry

9 Aug

The good folks over at the NRA Blog are doing live blog updates from the National High Power Matches at Camp Perry this week. They are posting lots of good photo’s and video of the various events.

If you can’t be there in person, perhaps this is the next best thing!

Commercial Row at Camp Perry

7 Aug

Commercial Row at Camp Perry is an amazing place…. Well actually just about everything at the National Matches is amazing.

BlackFork6 takes you on a nice video tour of Commercial Row during the 2008 National Matches:

Shotgun News Dominates Wal-Mart

2 Aug

I found the piece below from Guns & Ammo Handguns web site interesting. At a time when many chains choose not to carry any hunting and shooting related magazines, it’s refreshing to see a store chain that embraces hunting and shooting media.


Shotgun News Dominates Wal-Mart
Core title in every store and more.
By Scott E. Mayer

Recently we learned that our sister publication, Shotgun News, reached a new milestone in shooting, hunting, fishing and outdoor publishing. As it stood, Shotgun News was already the only publication in the outdoor category available for sale in every Wal-Mart store. The significance of Shotgun News to Wal-Mart shoppers was further recognized by the announcement that the world’s largest retailer now offers the world’s largest “guns for sale” magazine at the outdoor checkout counter of 1,700 of its more than 3,000 stores.

Shotgun News publisher, Robert W. Hunnicutt, remarked, “Where the rubber meets the road, the world’s largest corporation is preferring our title to any and all competitors.” Our congratulations go out to our co-workers at Shotgun News.

Shotgun News is published three times each month including seven perfect bound issues with increased editorial for collectors and shooters. Pick up a copy today at any Wal-Mart or click here to get your subscription to Shotgun News.

Get American Handgunner, American Cop and Guns Magazine FREE!

26 Jul

You’ve gotta hand it to FMG Publications for offering FREE digital subscriptions to American Handgunner, American Cop, Guns and Shooting Industry magazines. Just visit their respective web sites and you can start reading! You can even browse back issues and sign up to receive an email notification when the next issue is published. Click on the thumbnail images below to go straight to the digital edition page of each magazine.