The SSAA SHOT Expo for 2008 was by fjhuangjun


by Technical Advisor Brendan Atkinson                                                                  Training up the juniors.

                                                                                                       Juniors being supervised on the shooting range.

An aerial view of a section of the bustling Expo.                                                      The archery range proved to be very popular.

          he SSAA SHOT Expo for 2008 was               People attending the Expo were able to          considerably so as not to have to cart things
          held at the Sydney Showgrounds,           have a try at air rifle and air pistol shooting,   back home again. Those prepared to buy
          Homebush, over the weekend of             as well as archery, and it was pleasing to         bulk items such as ammunition did very
          May 24 and 25. During the two             see many juniors joining in.                       well.
days, a total of just more than 7000 people            With around 3000 sq m of floor space and           It seemed that riflescopes were every-
passed through the turnstiles. This was a           in excess of 90 stands, there were plenty of       where, from ultra expensive down to the
pleasing result for the organisers.                 exhibits to see covering just about all aspects    bargain basement stuff - something to
   Putting this type of function together is        of shooting, hunting and outdoor trades,           please everybody. Knives were also popular,
a massive task, with all sorts of problems          including a display of very desirable ATVs.        from hunting styles to collecting to beauti-
that arise before and during the event to           A total of 430 exhibitor passes were handed        fully handmade swords.
tax the patience and expertise of the people        out. Some stands, such as Horsley Park                Ray Mack from Earmold Australia drew
in charge. The buck stopped with Expo               Gun Shop also incorporated representatives         crowds as he fitted people with his well-
Coordinator Michael Gill, who worked                from major distributors, so shooters could         known personalised earplugs. This involved
tirelessly to ensure that things happened           talk one-on-one with the guys that bring           injecting a quick-drying compound into the
when and where they were supposed to.               ‘the good stuff’ in. I noticed Brad Webb from      ear, which takes up the exact shape, and I
Michael was ably supported by a team of             Nioa and Stewart Wong from Winchester in           can confirm that they are very effective and
SSAA volunteers, who ran the shooting               among the throng. A throng it was and, at          comfortable to wear.
ranges, collected the entry tickets, manned         times, it was very crowded around some of             Extravision Australia has lots of good
a lot of the SSAA stands (such as St Marys          the better-known product stands. Even with         stuff on show. They donated a Yukon digital
Shooting Centre and SSAA H&C) and                   the 3m aisles, there were some ‘traffic jams’.     night and day binocular (worth around
generally helped out. In fact, there were              Those looking for bargains were not             $900) as a prize for filling out a survey
volunteers from not only the SSAA, but              disappointed, particularly on Sunday after-        about the Expo. The night and day binoc-
many other associations.                            noon when many dealers dropped prices              ular prize was won by Brian Herbert.

38 Australian Shooter
                                                                                                     2008 SSAA NSW SHOT Expo

From left: the SSAA Merchandise team of Kris Lawn,
Ron Bryant, Megan Arndell and Vikki Bourke.

  SSAA National President Bob Green surrounded
    by Australian Shooter editorial staff, Brendan
     Atkinson (left) Judy Ward and Kaye Jenkins.

   The Beretta stand had Olympic gold                YorkOptical                                     Lightforce
medallist Russell Mark in attendance                 Glen Jobson from YorkOptical said that          Steve Smith from Lightforce was satisfied
and he was kept busy with a multitude                this Expo was his company’s first and           with the way things went and although
of questions and, of course, lots of photo           that he was very happy with the overall         they were not there in a retail capacity, he
opportunities.                                       result. Having a stand near the food stall      was able to demonstrate some of the range
   SSAA Media & Publications was repre-              was a bit of a plus, as those standing in the   of scopes and lighting equipment. There
sented by Associate Editor Kaye Jenkins,             food queue could see his range of optical       was also a display of Ace Precision Rifles,
Production Coordinator Judy Ward and                 products for shooters, hunters and outdoor      produced at the Lightforce headquarters in
myself.                                              enthusiasts alike.                              Adelaide.
   Of great interest to shooters were
the booths by the NSW Police Firearms                Wild Dog                                        Parabellum Imports/
Branch and the Australian Customs                    Wild Dog stocks had an interesting display of   Victorian Arms
Service. Here, shooters were able to ask             their quality products and Don Caswell was      David Sandground from Parabellum
questions one-on-one and not just rely on            pleased to have had the chance to talk to so    Imports/Victorian Arms was pretty happy
hearsay. It was good to be able to clarify a         many people about precision rifle stocks.       with the overall event, as they have a
few points with the Customs Service as to                                                            range of new products about to be released
the import of certain items pertaining to                                                            onto the Australian market. Sure, it’s a
shooting.                                                                                            hassle to bring all the gear required up
   During the weekend, I visited as many                                                             from Melbourne, but the end rewards were
stands as possible to obtain comments                                                                worth it.
and suggestions from the exhibitors.
The following are just a few of the ones                                                             Frontier Arms
received.                                                                                            Mike Papps from Frontier Arms, and his
                                                                                                     three sons, were kept very busy over the
Lapua                                                                                                two days explaining their range of firearms
Andrew McDonald from DW Custers said                                                                 and accessories. Mike, who was a world-
that he felt the Expo was a success and he
was keen to have the VihtaVuori and Lapua
name out there on public display. He has             Horsley Park Gun Shop
                                                                                                     class pistol shooter, enjoyed the chance to
                                                                                                     deal face-to-face with clients.                >
attended the past four events and had good           The Horsley Park Gun Shop display was
sales at each.                                       one of the biggest at this year’s Expo. It
                                                     was in the shape of a rectangular enclosed
Safari                                               area with a turnstile at the entry end. At
Gary from Safari was very pleased with               most times over the weekend it was jam-
the event and they shifted a large amount            packed with eager shoppers and David
of stock, from scopes to bullets to firearms         Abela was very pleased with the results.
and just about everything in between. A              Various prizes were given out over the
$1700 Miroku shotgun was given away to a             weekend, including a Winchester 10-gun
lucky Safari shopper in a prize draw at the          safe, a Lanski knife sharpening kit, Leupold
end of the event.                                    binoculars and a Badlands backpack.

                                                                                                                       Australian Shooter 39
Dahlgren Trading                                   nothing but praise for the Expo and during
Lars Dahlgren had an interesting display           the course of the event, he donated four of
of axes by Grandsfors, considered by those         his quality knives as prizes. Lucky winners
in the know to be some of the best axes in         took away a Scorpion M, Sobol skinner, U-5
the world. When I spoke with him, he was           utility knife and a Bars folding knife. Kizlyar
pleased with the response from the public at       knives have been at the past four SHOT
the Expo.                                          Expos.

C&A Canvas                                           All in all, the 2008 SHOT Expo was a

Chris Boon was busy fitting people with            great success and the SSAA hopes to see
various bits of camo gear every time I passed      even bigger crowds in Melbourne at the
by, but he had time to comment that the Expo       same time next year.
had gone well and sales had been steady.
                                                     Note: For further information about any of
Kizlyar Knives                                     the companies and products mentioned here,
Zobair Bary from Kizlyar Knives had                contact your local gunshop or dealer.

                                                                                                                                     SSAA National
                                                                                                                               President Bob Green
                                                                                                                                  mingling with the
                                                                                                                             Single Action shooters.

Ray Mack from Earmold fits another customer.

Greg Chan from Beretta testing a spotting scope.   Storm rifle cases display.                        The Roger Vardy stand with stock timber on show.

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40 Australian Shooter

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