Well then folks, we decided to venture out to IWA 2019 in Nurnberg, Germany and had a hoot!
For those that don’t know its the biggest Outdoor trade show in Europe, attended by all the main firearms, ammunition and outdoor clothing manufacturers amongst other disciplines.
For me it’s a great chance to catch up with buddies from the industry, look at new products and make new contacts.
As always I tried to take loads of photos but despite the best of intentions I could have taken more, most of them have already featured on my Instagram and Facebook for those already following me on there.
Some great new weapons from Benelli and Heckler & Koch stood out for me. The latest version of the H&K USP Compact is one of the most solid pistols I have seen in a long while, absolutely flawless!
On the clothing front there are some mouthwatering developments from Harkila in the pipeline. They were in the very early stages of releasing this item but I was able to have a look at the vest and it is made to the usual Harkila high quality level but with a really clever function with no wires or bulk. I wasn’t able to get detailed photos of it but I found this video released on another site which gives a bit more info:
For me this is a game-changer! Heated clothing has been out there for a long while, any old army sniper will tell you that but in terms of weight, bulk and brand it has always been hit and miss for me. Harkila is, in my humble opinion, the best outdoor kit there is certainly for use within the hunting/shooting industry. I will be getting one of these as soon as they are released. I spend a lot to time prone at the range, stood about when hunting and running training courses so the extra few degrees an item like this can offer will make ALL the difference. Watch this space!
I had a chance to meet up with the great guys from US knife manufacturers ESEE. For those that don’t already know, these are my brand of choice for my own personal use based on solid reasoning. I’ve covered it in a previous blog but it centres on price, reliability, warranty and customer service, all of which ESEE do fantastically. It was great to hear about their plans to get over to the UK and Europe more and all being well we will be seeing much more of them as a brand and individuals in the not too distant future. Good guys!
One things worthy of mention was the Cold Steel stand and its ‘axe-fighting arena’, yeah what a hoot!
One of the things that jumped out at me from IWA was the distinct lack of presence from medical suppliers, trainers or even acknowledgement of the part this plays in the industry. If you are reading this and have read my blogs before you know me and how passionate I am about field-care/trauma-care/ first-aid, whatever you want to call it. Safe and responsible shooting with all necessary measures in place. Despite me looking hard, there was nothing, which was disappointing but ultimately not surprising. Neither was the sheer volume of ‘muzzle-sweeps’ from the ‘Airsoft community’!
We will be at the Northern Shooting Show in Yorkshire in May 2019 and certainly plan to address this issue as best we can in the UK! Who knows we may even head back to IWA next year to push it there!
I can’t really say I saw a lot of Germany, fortunately I’ve been all over the country in the past on numerous occasions. I was in to the airport which is pristine, straight on the underground to my digs, back out to the show, reciprocal journey, repeat, fly home!
One bonus was a chance to catch up with the man, the myth, the legend that is Tiff from Roundhouse Firearms Training down in Bodmin. For those who haven’t been there you should, its a fantastic range which is run brilliantly by Tiff and his team! Great to see things going so well for him and I look forwards to seeing him again at NSS. If you don’t follow him on Facebook, you should:
Anyway, IWA was well run, had a lot going on and I would fully recommend it to anyone in the industry who has not been before.
I’m fortunate to work closely with some great brands and it was great to fly the flag for them out there!
Thanks for reading!