Ok… now we are back home from IWA2019, what did we learn?
Be well prepared, eligibility checks are tough.
This is mainly since in earlier years many private persons were roaming this business2business fair, taking much of the exhibitor’s attention from their actual focus group – the visiting companies. Therefore, even if you have an invitation voucher from a company, you will have to present proof of eligibility.
As IWA states on their registration page:
‘Please do not come to Nuremberg unprepared! Just writing something down on a sheet of paper at the venue in the day is not possible.
No exceptions will be made, regardless of how many hundreds of kilometers you have travelled.’
By the way, don’t bother to bring bags of money, there is nothing you can buy on the fair (and it is strictly forbidden).
Once you have passed this initial hurdle, it’s easy to run into the next trap.
Do your homework and have a plan.
It is easy to get lost in this huge and colorful fair, there are hunting goodies around every corner. There is this sheer mass of big companies you admire, and even more small interesting companies you never heard of.
Make appointments with the companies you plan to visit, and have a list of companies you want to check out. Don’t plan everything for day one, you will not make it. Use the first day to browse through the fair and get a feeling of what to re-visit during the remaining days.
Since this is a business fair, it might be a good idea to have some business or contact cards ready, even if you are visiting as an influencer or blogger (yes this is so old school…).
So, what’s new?
Of course, one of my personal highlights was visiting the Blaser booth, which was smaller than I expected, but nevertheless stuffed with news and goodies.
The new K95 Ultimate Carbone was in the center of the booth
A break barrel rifle with carbon shaft, the new Blaser adjustable comb, adjustable recoil pad, and the recoil absorption system.
Since I own a Blaser Professional Success, I was interested in the new adjustable comb and adjustable recoil cap for this gun. I can really say that the solution and the handling of the adjustment are way more comfortable than the competitors’ products.
Merkel presented the new Helix Speedster OR limited edition, which was nice, but honestly, when having a gun shaft like this with open thumbhole I would like to be able to keep my finger on the bolt while reloading. Maybe my hands are too small, but I cannot repeat the whole way without leaving the pistol grip (try it, it might just be me).
A short stop at L’Atelier Verney-Carron will show you without a doubt, what difference a handmade perfectly balanced gun makes. I did not ask for the price, but we tested a side-by-side shotgun and a side-by-side double rifle, and the balance was breathtaking. I expected a much heavier gun, but both guns were feeling so incredibly light, that for me they could challenge a carbon shaft gun any time of the week (not even talking about their stylishness).
Strasser presented their straight repeating rifle with exchangeable barrels, and the locking/unlocking mechanism seems comfortable. You will need two tools, but they are hidden in the gun stock. Overall a very good system, worth checking out. (VIDEO)
Steelaction also showed their straight repeating rifle, and I really like the safety on/off solution, very easy to handle (still getting used to the safety on my Blaser, which I sometimes find too heavy).
At Winchester I found their nice new Xtrem Defender High Capacity 51 pump action shotgun.
It comes with a very clean design and a pistol grip. In total it looks and feels great.
On the equipment side, Niggeloh presented the new “Pull” system. If you have ever wrapped your gun sling around your forearm to increase the pull against your shoulder and free your trigger hand from any tension, this is something for you. It comes with a quick release function for taking the sling off, something my older sling does not have. I can’t wait to order mine and try it out in the field. Let’s see if it’s what I’m hoping for.
They also released a new small pouch for GSM trackers for their dog harnesses, not so revolutionary maybe but following the trend of using GSM trackers instead of bulky GPS collars.
Spartan Precision presented “The Sentinel” a 3+2 shooting rest. It is not the most portable system, but if you plan on shooting from a certain spot in the middle of nowhere, this will give you good support for long-range shots, since it is stable as a bench!
Although I did not make my homework properly, I was able to meet some awesome people from my Instagram following (@youknowwhoyouare) and will definitely be better prepared next year.
Anyway, it was good fun and absolutely worth the trip!
Have you been to the IWA2019? What was the most exciting news for you?