January 18, 2016: Pre-SHOT Show Long Range Fun in the Desert


Everything leading up to my first SHOT Show – enough insanity to write a whole separate book on, I assure you – had me worn pretty thin.

With a pending invite to make a run out into the desert to shoot with an amazing bunch of guys, our team worked our tails off to make sure our booth was ready for Tuesday’s madness, and did so on a schedule that might allow a little time to relax and take in a desert/mountain sunset with the guys from Velocity Tactics and Crux Suppressors.

Now that a bit of time has passed, allowing for some reflection on what I really got out of SHOT, this was, clearly, one of the highlights. This little drive out into the desert mountains. The drive alone was worth every minute. It has been a very long time since I had laughed like that; the kind of laughing that doubles as a core abs workout by the time you’ve reached your destination. I was in pain, and in tears, before we’d even reached our destination.

The invite was to come out and shoot. Due to a couple of… we’ll simply call them “obstacles” – we did not all get to shoot. But we were quite entertained simply watching Curtis from Templar Tactical Firearms/Crux Suppressors do some amazing work with both his 7MM and the Velocity Tactics guys’ .338 Lapua at 1,024 yards. Curtis setup initially with his 7MM and gonged the 12″ plate on either the second or third shot. I was absolutely amazed. I’d never seen anything like that up close and in person. I come from a hunting background, and while I’ve been playing with handguns, rifles – especially ARs – the past 5 years or so, I’d never really thought much about the long range thing.

I have managed to avoid the whole sniper phenomena, and while I have always thought it was cool, not really considered taking on an additional hobby. Just sorta stuck with my lifelong romance with shotguns and bird hunting. But the desire to explore this a bit started slowly sneaking up on me about a year ago or so. Just reading a bit about it, watching something I’d DVR’d with a bit more interest, and asking questions of the guys at work who shoot long range more regularly, stuff like that. So, when this invite came up – to see, and experience, some extreme long range action, I was pretty excited.

And seeing (barely, at that distance!) that steel swinging – several seconds before I could hear it – just blew my mind. I was hooked, and I wasn’t even pulling the trigger.

The same thing happened with the .338 in the Savage 110. Equipped with the Crux Ark 30 suppressor, of course. Even on that .338, we did not need ears. I’m not afraid to state here that I was sold, and already have my tax stamp submitted through Velocity Tactics, a Crux dealer.  You won’t find suppressors on their website, so you’ll need to give them a call. But do – call 877-782-3131 and ask about them. They were easy to work with, know what they are talking about, and got me taken care of. I’m counting the days…

On the suppressor note, we took the same suppressor and put it on a 9mm with subsonic ammo. The slide was louder than the report.

What was doubly amazing was the R&D loads the Velocity Tactics fellas (manufacturers of ammo under the Fort Scott Munitions brand) brought to the party. To see a test load bang steel at 1,024 in just a few shots was pretty solid. These guys know what they are doing.

I felt pretty lucky and blessed to be exactly where I was at that moment. God’s Country, no doubt. Amazing sunset, surrounded by what some city-dwellers actually find unattractive – barren desert, lots of “nothing” – and the foothills of the mountains. And to be there surrounded by like-minded company, old friends and new ones. People that are authentic and genuine and real. Surrounding yourself with such people all of the time is not a luxury that the real world affords you on a daily basis. Making moments like this all the more valuable to me.

And I just never got tired of hearing that steel. I would have never guessed that would be as exciting as it was. I might actually be in trouble here – I have neither the time nor the money for a new hobby 🙂

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