Texas International Firearms Festival A Hit, Plans Under Way for 2015

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The inaugural Texas International Firearms Festival was blessed with perfect weather, a first rate exhibitor line-up and enthusiastic crowds. Organizers have already begun the planning process for next year and say 2015 will be bigger and even better. Make the jump for snaps from the festivities . . .

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comments

  1. avatar LarryinTX says:

    God, that was fun! And you guys completely missed the can launcher upper? And the “Underground” had a .50 M2 that appeared fully loaded, upon inquiry we found the firing mechanism was removed (whew!). Tracking Point definitely impressed us, my son (I don’t think he has ever addressed a target beyond 100 yards) scored 3 hits out of 3 shots at 750 yards! Words fail me to describe how wonderful the day was, Slidefire was amazing, I thought AAC was defunct (It’s NOT!), and I am probably being unfair to endless numbers of wonderful exhibits, and I’m sorry. It was FUN, If I did not mention that. All of it.

    1. avatar 80 D says:

      Back to back weekends of F1 and firearms? Lucky!!

  2. avatar Kenji-Con says:

    It was a great day, great weather, and cannot wait till next year. Tracking Point rifles were very cool to shoot. Despite any criticism of the platform or price, everyone I spoke with enjoyed shooting the damn things. Salvo shotgun silencer was impressivly quiet and much lighter than I had expected. Ar15 soda can launcher still makes me giggle so I suppose that’s the point. SIG’s had a suppressed MPX in 300 blk that was a blast to shoot (on sale after 2015 SHOT show). The lines got long to play but the toys were fun.

  3. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    I enjoyed it as well. I’ve been shooting for a long time, but my experience with different guns and accessories is pretty limited. This gave an opportunity to handle a lot of different things even if it was for a very brief interval. It changed my focus to some firearms I wouldn’t have thought much about before, namely the Sig 320 and Walther PPS. Lots of high end AR’s in various calibers were there to be shot with a nice variety of optics.

    There were lots of novice shooters there, and I think a bunch of people were introduced to shooting in a safe and controlled manner. The instructors and product reps were all patient and helpful and I think one of this sites own was one of the senior safety officers. I would do another one although I wonder if someone that has sampled a large variety of guns would care much for it. There was a fair amount of waiting in line, particularly on Saturday.

    I’ve been waiting to see some mention of it on these pages and I was very curious as to whether the promoters and exhibitors found it to be a success. I hope so. It was a unique event and I think one that can help grow support for our sport.

    JSG

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      Having new shooters in attendance was my biggest concern, but I think we set up the rules and the staffing to where it would be a safe and enjoyable time. Sounds like we succeeded from your report.

      Thanks for coming!

      Nick Leghorn
      Chief Range Safety Officer
      Texas International Firearms Festival 2014 (2015?)

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Nick –

        Will TTAG have a video of the event up in the near future?

      2. avatar BDub says:

        Nick, I went both days, and even brought an inexperienced shooter on the second day. I met several families who brought children and other inexperienced shooters and I never once saw or heard of anyone being unsafe. I was never nervous around any of the participants or officials. And those officials were equal parts attentive and unobtrusive.

        In short, it was a great experience and a job well done.

  4. avatar Reyberto Colón says:

    Count me within the “very pleased” group. The organization was first rate. From the beggining to the end, everything went without a hitch. Big thanks and props to Kara Florez for handling a ticket swap for me in a speedy manner. From the exhibitors, I can say that the SIG guys were top notch. Not only in the quantity of guns in display, but the quality of the guys in the tent and the shooting lanes were tops. I can understand why RF waxes so much poetic about the MPX. It IS that good and then some. Seeing Dan, Nick, Robert and KJW kicking back and having a great time was also good (sunday afternoon at least). I did however missed a couple things. Nick asked me right there what could be done for improvement and I couldn’t come up with much at the moment (something about the sound of machine gun-like sounds in the distance is alluring as it is distracting). But I can tell now that some names were dearly missed like Colt, Ruger, Benelli and maybe some other ammo manufacturers would be welcome too. Also, maybe a more effective publicity of the event could have gone a long way in making people aware. The gun forums are a great tool for that. Oh, and I was a bit bummed that Walther did not brought the CCP model to at least fondle it, but that’s beyond your control, guys. In all, I am definitely coming back next year and bringing more people with me.

  5. avatar Jim R says:

    I was really hoping this would go well. Unfortunately due to financial constraints I was unable to make it, but I’ve just got a new, better-paying job and I hope to be there next year!

  6. avatar outwardhound says:

    It was a great experience and only a couple of minor issues not worth pointing out here. . . .but, I do have a suggestion for next year: how about a demonstration shoot from Ms. Weiss? or maybe a meet & greet type event?

    1. avatar Justsomeguy says:

      I like both ideas. As long as there was a lot of “included” things to do I also wouldn’t mind having a couple of “extra cost” items. Shoot a .50 for $10 after shooting a lessor rifle to see how you do? Maybe pay for ammo and get a full mag on full auto? Or…?

      I do think that the crowd on Saturday was about as high a ration of attendance to activities that I think you can do and not have people bored with the lines. Sunday was great for the attendee’s. If the event is profitable at that ratio, I would look to hit that, then expand the concept to other locations. I really think that this has the potential to bring a lot of people to the shooting sports.

      Is anyone aware of an event being done like this before somewhere else? This is the first thing of the type I’ve seen.

      JSG

  7. avatar dh34 says:

    My daughter and I had a great time. Aside from the sense of pride that comes with your daughter making a thousand yard shot with a .338 Lapua, we got to shoot several firearms we might not have the opportunity to shoot otherwise. All of the exhibitors and RSOs were extremely professional and patient with novice shooters.

    I will also echo the justsomeguy’s comments on the PPS and Sig 320. I probably would not have considered buying either pistol, both of which I was impressed with. And I fell in love with the Sig MPX…which I would consider a compliment to my PDX loaded 870, vice a replacement for.

    BZ. Looking forward to next year.

  8. avatar LKB says:

    Great time! My highlight reel:
    (1) Tracking Point. Sure, I’m not gonna drop $10-25K on this, but still freaking amazing to play with.
    (2) Walther PPQ. There were lots of very cool pistols to try, but this was the belle of the ball. So sweet . . . and they had it for sale at TIFF for only $500, which is the lowest price I’ve seen.
    (3) Noveske. Lots of very fine AR’s to try, but pick up a Noveske and it’s like driving a Mercedes. Close runner up: Underground Tactical’s Baconmaker, with spiral fluted barrel and custom suppressor.
    (4) Barrett. OK, they didn’t have .50 cal to shoot, so we had to make do with .338 Lapua. And of course they had already dialed them in and doped the wind for you. But still a gas to ring the gong at 1000 yards. Awesome rifle.
    (5) Suppressed select fire MP5. Oh, for the repeal of the Hughes Amendment . . . .
    (6) Soda can AR upper . . . suppressed Benelli 12 gauge . . . mag dumps at the Slidefire booth. All just pure fun.

    Mark your calendars for next year, amigos.

  9. avatar Juliesa says:

    It was sort of like being at an air show–lots of great people enjoying the sound of freedom.

    The crowd skewed young, and there were plenty of women there too. I really do think the post-Newtown gun grab created more gun owners.

    We loved it. I joined the line of people buying Sig 320s, and a Tracking point may be in our future.

  10. avatar Chris Hoyt says:

    What was the situation with ammunition? For instance, was every AR loaded with a 20 or 30 round magazine?

    1. avatar Chris In Texas says:

      Depended on the booth. I wish they were all loaded with full 30round mags. But mostly they were 30round mags loaded with only a few rounds. Which was understandable with the cost of ammo and the amount of people there. The fully auto suppressed MP5 only had 7 rounds or so loaded in it. After the first shot they’d flip the giggle switch for you and it’d be empty Fast lol.

    2. avatar Justsomeguy says:

      It varied from place to place. Slide Fire gave you just about a full mag to play with. It may have worked because I saw quite a few folks who bought their product. Walther let you put two mags worth through their guns and I formed a favorable opinion of the PPS because of it. I made shots with it that I wouldn’t have made with my Shield. Other places let you shoot from 1 to 5 rounds and I don’t think that is enough to let you form much of an opinion.

      I would be interested to hear more about how the ammo was supplied and distributed. I did hear a remark or two that some of the exhibitors were surprised at the amount they were given, but I never got any detail. As you can imagine, ammo could be a very large cost in such an event. All of the shooting bays were very clean and there was no trash or debris in them. The only brass I saw was what was fired that day. I don’t compete, but I’ve never seen that much new shiny once fired brass on the ground at one time.

      1. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

        The exhibiting companies weren’t given ammo, they supplied it themselves. Some ordered from our official ammo supplier, Winchester, and some sourced their own. They all controlled the amount given each shooter based on the length of the lines at the time.

        1. avatar Justsomeguy says:

          Thanks for posting that info. A few things make more sense to be now.

  11. avatar Chris In Texas says:

    That was one the Funnest times I’ve ever had. Fell in love with the PPQ and that MPX with the new folding Brace will so be going in my safe next year. Wish I knew what a lot of you fellas looked like, would of loved to of talked to all of you there. Always next year. Still smiling from ringing the gong at 1000yards.

  12. avatar Shane Lee says:

    Had a great time ! It’s truly the only way to decide what you really want in the way of firearm purchases. So wish SHOT show had lots more hands on like this .

  13. avatar Andrew Moursund says:

    Great success. I spent too much money on guns, but the wife got her first AR out of the deal.

  14. avatar I like cake says:

    I had an amazing time.

    I posted a brief write-up about my experience there on Reddit:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/austinguns/comments/2loolz/is_anyone_going_to_the_gun_events_this_weekend/cm0yueb

  15. avatar John Dee says:

    Great event, very fun, and I would go again for sure. My only issues were that the VIP tickets were basically a scam, and they didn’t have the .50BMG available to shoot as advertised here on TTAG.

    Aside from those it was the most fun I have ever had with firearms, being from Massachusetts.

  16. My wife and I attended on Sunday, along with her Air Force Airman son and his girlfriend, (a very novice shooter) and an Air Force pistol team member. A fabulous time was had by all! Great fun, great food. I only wish there was a Cabot to actually shoot! I found my next weapon and my wife added a few to her list! I think the most fun was watching our token novice shooter wrapping her hands around any and all weapons in every booth and the ear to ear grin on her face all day! That was worth the price of admission all by itself! Looking forward to next year!

  17. avatar Ken says:

    Sorry I missed it. Me and my wife had tickets for Saturday, but our flight from Canada was overbooked. (I’m an airline employee, and we were booked on standby priority). Oh well, next year maybe. Looking forward to seeing Texas.

  18. avatar Paul S. Lausell says:

    Thanks to my son, who came up with the idea, we had the most fun we have had together in a long time. The festival attracted a young crowd, and many who were new to guns. We saw several people taking their first shots with a gun.

    We were fortunate to have gone the first year it was held, before it becomes more popular, because the lines were manageable. Either more guns per exhibitor or more exhibitors will be needed as it gains in popularity. Another way to speed up the lines would be to have descriptions of the guns available on a poster in the line so people can decide what they want to shoot before they step up to the shooting station. To reduce the number of rounds per person is not the answer if you want to sell guns.

    Next year, I would like to be able to fire different kinds of ammo from my personal carry gun into a drum of water to test what works best with the gun I carry. The expanded (or not) slugs would make unique souvenirs of the event.

    As far as safety is concerned, the range officers and exhibitors did a fantastic job and the crowd was sober and well-behaved. Congratulations to all involved.

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