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Upping the Ante: South Dakota Delegation Returning to Vegas for SHOT Show

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. – When you think about South Dakota’s firearm industry, what businesses come to mind? For most, companies like COR®BON, Bar-Sto Precision, Dakota Arms and Dakota Silencer probably top the list, among many others.

Would you be surprised to learn that three of those companies, COR®BON, Bar-Sto Precision and Dakota Arms, including newly established Lehigh Defense in Rapid City, are a direct result of networking done at the annual SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show?

The SHOT Show is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals in the industry. For almost 15 years, representatives from South Dakota have attended. And later this month, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), along with four communities and an energy company, will spend a week in Las Vegas, working to promote and add to our growing firearm and outdoors industry.

Irv Stone, owner of Bar-Sto Precision, first met with representatives from South Dakota at the SHOT Show almost 15 years ago.

“We knew we wanted to get out of California after our kids graduated from high school. Where we’d go was still up in the air,” said Stone. “I connected with Peter Pi [CEO of COR®BON] at a show knowing he’d recently made the move to Sturgis. Almost by coincidence, a few hours later, I met with the folks from South Dakota.”

Stone spent another 10 years in California, but finally made the move to South Dakota in September 2010, joining Dakota Arms and COR®BON in Sturgis.

“The SHOT Show is the number one place to connect with some of our customers. But more than that, it allows us to meet and collaborate with new customers and potential partners, too,” Stone added. “South Dakota is an ideal location for small to medium-sized businesses, so it’s imperative for us to start and foster those business relationships while we’re there.”

Pat Costello, GOED Commissioner, agrees.

“The SHOT Show is one of our most successful trade shows, which is why we continue to attend,” he said. “People who stop at our booth always have a ‘when I was in South Dakota’ story and we enjoy listening and talking with them about their experience. As the shooting, hunting and outdoors industry continues to evolve, our state’s industry continues to evolve as well, and we’re always excited to add to our strong group of existing firearms and outdoors businesses.”

For more information on South Dakota’s firearm industry, visit

The GOED will be exhibiting at the 2016 SHOT Show. Look for our booth, #2950. Connect with us on social media—@SDGOED via Twitter and South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development on Facebook.


Media Contact

Members of the media requesting more information should contact Natalie Likness at or (605) 773-3301.