When the chance comes along to join other media folks in a safe but firearm-friendly shooting environment, I am all game! The 3rd annual Texas Firearms Festival is just around the corner. It’s happening October 14th-16th, 2016 at the Best of the West range in Liberty Hill, Texas. Since I live right here in Central Texas, I received an invite from the hosts of this event for a preview of some of the shooting sports vendors. STI Guns and Silencer Shop were the two main sponsors of this event. These are both Texas companies and there is nothing that makes me feel more at home than being around folks with Texas roots. Here are some photos of this awesome event and other media folks supporting the 2nd Amendment.
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One of the news anchors who attended the event (far right photo above) had never fired a gun before and had some great first experiences with this talented team of company representatives.
The first opportunity I had to fire some of the firearms at this event was at the Silencer Shop tent. I fired a suppress handgun in 9mm as well as a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 which had been integrally suppressed by Innovative Arms. Shooting both of these guns was a blast and they were both impressively quiet. This was one of my first experiences with shooting suppressed firearms in a range environment like this. As Dustin Ellermann wrote about on FishGame.com in his post and video on the the suppressed S&W M&P 15-22, the sound of closing the bolt on this rifle is about the same decibel level as the sound of the the rifle firing. This is due to a ported barrel and some other innovations by this Innovative Arms. In Dustin’s video, he also points out that he is shooting supersonic .22LR Federal ammunition but the sound of the rifle is subsonic. This was super awesome in so many ways. I love shooting .22LR for target practice and to be able to shoot it suppressed makes target shooting even more enjoyable. Other guns avaiable to shoot at this event were a suppressed .22 handgun, a suppressed .45ACP handgun, and a suppressed AR-15 running .300 Blackout.
I visited the STI Guns tent next. Having some experience with the venerable 1911 model of handguns in the past, I thought this would be a regular day at the range. What STI has created is an absoultly amazing line of performance handguns. I first wrote about the STI 1911 and 2011 models in my 2016 NRA Show recap post series and talked about this on our NRA recap podcast. I had never had a chance to shoot an STI handgun until now. Now I have shot my fair share of handguns and I have to say that the STI DVC model chambered in 9mm is one of the best handguns I have ever shot. The gun handles like like a great handgun should. The balance and weight of the gun is solid but not too heavy or overbearing. The recoil was very easy to handle and I hit the body silhouette target set at about 30 yards with every single shot I took. STI manufactures performance handguns for competition shooters and now I really understand why they are so popular with 3-Gun competitve shooters. These are not cheap handguns but the build quality and overall fit and finish of these guns is absoulty worth every penny in my humble opinion. This STI DVC by far the best handgun I have ever had the pleasure of firing.
This event was just a preview or “foretaste of the feast to come” with the 3rd Annual Texas Firearm Festival. For one set price for a day, a weekend pass or the entire VIP 3-day weekend event, you can shoot all the guns from various manufactures you care to shoot and the cost of ammunition is included! Where else can you do that? You don’t even have to clean the guns you shoot after the event! What a deal! In all of my years of shooting, I think this event is one of the biggest “bangs” for the buck, if you will excuse the pun! Check out this annual event, located in Central Texas, at TexasGunFest.com.