Firearm trade shows

A firearm trade show is not the same thing as a gun show, even though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. A gun show primarily caters to the public, while a firearm trade show is an industry event for professionals in the field. Some firearm trade shows will allow the public to enter, but rarely during the entire show period. A three day long firearm trade show may for instance welcome the public during the final day.


One of the world's largest firearm trade shows is the SHOT show. The SHOT show is arranged one a year in the United States and focuses on firearms and hunting equipment. SHOT is an acronym for Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (show). It is only open for trade representatives and the media, not for the general public.

The SHOT Show has been held in many different cities over the year, but it is most commonly found in Las Vegas. The first show was held in St. Louis, Missouri in 1979 and since then, SHOT has been hosted by Las Vegas 13 times. Other examples of cities where SHOT has been arranged numerous times are Dallas in Texas, Atlanta in Georgia and New Orleans in Louisiana. The SHOT Show is arranged by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

SHOT Show history
1979: St. Louis, Missouri
1980: San Francisco, California
1981: New Orleans, Louisiana
1982: Atlanta, Georgia
1983: Dallas, Texas
1984: Dallas, Texas
1985: Atlanta, Georgia
1986: Houston, Texas
1987: New Orleans, Louisiana
1988: Las Vegas, Nevada
1989: Dallas, Texas
1990: Las Vegas, Nevada
1991: Dallas, Texas
1992: New Orleans, Louisiana
1993: Houston, Texas
1994: Dallas, Texas
1995: Las Vegas, Nevada
1996: Dallas, Texas
1997: Las Vegas, Nevada
1998: Las Vegas, Nevada
1999: Atlanta, Georgia
2000: Las Vegas, Nevada
2001: New Orleans, Louisiana
2002: Las Vegas, Nevada
2003: Orlando, Florida
2004: Las Vegas, Nevada
2005: Las Vegas, Nevada
2006: Las Vegas, Nevada
2007: Orlando, Florida
2008: Las Vegas, Nevada
2009: Orlando, Florida 
2010: Las Vegas, Nevada
2011: Las Vegas, Nevada
2012: Las Vegas, Nevada

IWA & OutdoorClassics

IWA & OutdoorClassics is a trade show for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry. It is held once a year in Nuremberg, Germany and is one of the largest firearm trade shows in the world. IWA stands for Internationale Waffen Ausstellung (International Weapons Exhibition). Military weapons and fully automatic firearms are specifically prohibited from exhibits.
IWA & OutdoorClassics has been arranged for over 30 years and is now attracting over 32,000 visitors a year. Roughly 75% of the visitors are from other countries than Germany and about hundred different nations are represented at the fair. The number of exhibitors exceeds 1,100.

Examples of items show cased at the IWA & OutdoorClassics: