Dallas Safari Club Convention
The Dallas Safari Club Convention in, where else? – Dallas was too large to cover in great detail if you wanted time to see a little of the city. However, the park with life-sized cowboys and cattle was a quick walk away. It offered a particularly good photo opportunity whenever the sun was either low or high.
The city itself feels safe to an (admittedly suspicious) ex-cop. That may be a result of Texas’ open carry and concealed carry laws; as Jeff Cooper noted, “An armed society is a polite society.”
Convention exhibitors ran the gamut from insurance and travel experts to hunting and fishing guides and firearms manufacturers. The new Rigby (made in London once again) .416 was beautiful – pure, functional beauty and balanced perfectly for my taste. My taste buds couldn’t accommodate the nearly $15K tag, though.
Most of the rifles and shotguns were high-end and functional, with some claiming well under one minute (of angle shot groups) out of the box. Overall, the rifles and shotguns were more elegant and better made but didn’t seem greatly different from “back when.” Very familiar and comfortable.
There’s now a “pull” bolt action; apparently it was popular in Germany and is becoming so here. I haven’t fired one. There are also a number of rifles that allow quick caliber changes, usually just a barrel change but more parts are quick-changeable as needed. I haven’t dealt with them in the field or on the range but they are intriguing. If the balance is the same this could be a good answer to hunting travel. I wonder how the accuracy and ease of changing scopes will be on these rifles. (Doubles have been offered with barrel/caliber changes for a long time. Doubles, however, aren’t cheap.)
The pistols were mostly the “plastic” type, with even a two-barrel job and one that fired from below – something like a repeater Derringer that only used the bottom barrel. There were no opportunities to fire the pieces, but a laser-simulator target setup entertained the audience. When I tried the exercise I found the sights misadjusted and the trigger pull ugly – for me.
There were an unbelievable number of exhibitors, many very forthcoming about their services and products. The cost in time and dollars was well-spent – and the dinners that featured game dishes as the main course were outstanding. Best of all, the organization does a great deal for kids and for outdoor sports – one of the best conservation organizations (and lowest dollars-to-fundraisers and staff rates) around.