Mark your calendar as this coming Saturday, Feb. 7, the largest outdoors related event in the country kicks off when NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show starts its nine day run at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.
Most local folks simply refer to it as the “Harrisburg Show” which got its name many moons ago when another show producer hosted it but lost it because they forbid AR type rifles to be displayed. As such, the NRA stepped in and decided to produce the show themselves so firearms would not be excluded.
And firearms will be shown. In fact more now that NRA is in charge. Never before has the show had so many big time firearm makers present. The long list includes such notables as Benelli, Browning, Bushmaster, DPMS, FNH USA, Henry Repeating Arms, Kahr, Savage and Sig Sauer. Related companies include Crimson Trace lasers, Barnes Bullets, Federal ammunition and many more. There’s also the Wall of Guns event and NRA Foundation Banquet sponsored by Henry Repeating Arms.
The show will also feature top country music entertainers Lee Brice and Thompson Square in addition to a myriad of other celebrities including TV’s Jesse James, founder of clothing and custom motorcycle manufacturer West Coast Choppers.
And since it’s the NRA, get this. They’ve managed to use their influence to establish The Great American Gun Giveaway, which is a nine-day sweepstakes brought to you by Remington. The sweepstakes is a one person a day free drawing for a Remington long gun. Yes, Remington will be giving away nine guns starting day one with a Remington Versa Max 28-inch Black Synthetic 12 ga. Shotgun; Day two, Remington Model 783 Mossy Oak Breakup 30.06 rifle; Day three, Remington 870 Express Tactical Magpul 12 ga. Shotgun; Day four, Remington 597 FLX Camo .22 rifle; Day five, Remington Versa Max Sportsman Turkey 12. Ga. Shotgun; Day six, Remington Model 7 synthetic .243 rifle; Day seven, Versa Max Competition Tactical 12 ga. shotgun; Day eight, Remington Versa Max WF Pro Mossy Oak Blades 12 ga. shotgun and Day nine, a Remington Ultimate .50 caliber muzzleloader rifle. With these, it pays to attend the show every day.
Showgoers have to sign up every day to enter the daily drawing at the Remington booth in the Shooting Sports Hall. Entries will be taken Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Drawings will take place 30 minutes after the last entry in Remington’s booth #275. You do not need to be present to win.
And for a $10 ticket, you can win a firearm of your choice from more than 40 different makes and models. Buy your ticket at the Henry booth 39 in the complex’s main hallway.
Aside from these enticing reasons to attend, there are numerous interesting and informative seminars to catch while at the show that caters to a varied list of interests. A sampling of those include archery trick shooting, introduction to metallic cartridge reloading, deer butchering, do-it-yourself small game mounting, how to shoulder mount a deer, loads of fishing seminars and for the first time ever, Berks County’s own Doug Koenig, professional competition shooter and multi-Bianchi Cup champ who will be accompanied by former Glock shooter Jessie Duff, ladies top competitive pro shooter. Both will present Shooting Like a Pro on Feb. 10 at 3:45 p.m.
As this is a vast show (650,000 square feet), if you don’t care to use the provided map, the show offers a free mobile app that can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store and Google Play that provides an exhibitor list, floorplan, events schedule, new products, directions, seminars and a place for notes. Go to Download GAO 2015 at http://gaos.nra.org. And for a complete listing for all of the above go to www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org.
The Farm Show Complex is located off I-81 (via I-78) Exit 67A (Cameron Street). There are five areas available for parking so check the website for your preference and daily show hours plus admission prices.