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DEFCON 24 Shoot is History

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  • DEFCON 24 Shoot is History

    Had a great time, as usual. I might even come close to breaking even on ammo this year :-)

    Great venu, it was just our luck that we got hit with that massive storm front. MAN, those winds were intense. 2+ months of 110+ weather will produce such things.

    I vote for having the shoot there next year. Real toilets with running water, amenities a short distance away, a gun store on the way up (Spartan Gun Store) for people to buy or order ammo from, professional grade covered shooting line, etc, etc.

    See you'all at DEFCON.


  • #2
    Yeah that place was nice, and they seemed relatively relaxed for the equipment we were shooting. Not sure I agree with muzzle up, but that's not a big deal. I was looking forward to camping for the first time, but there's always next year.

    It is a little closer, lights, built in target stands, bathrooms, all better. The temperature wasn't even that bad on Thursday, probably due to the weather on Wednesday.


    • #3
      Agreed, had a great time this year (not that any other year was a bad time!), and really liked the new venue. Really want to thank the folks that helped pull that together at the last minute!

      The weather on Wed was... interesting. Perhaps if our Glorious Leader would stop defying the storm gods... ;-)


      • #4
        let's treat this as the official DEF CON Shoot feedback thread. most particularly i want to know more thoughts about the venue. there is a real chance we'll opt for that one again next year. biggest hurdles there:

        1. 50 BMG - right now it's not allowed. if we find a way to hack our own barrier, however... maybe? i'm thinking a makeshift HESCO barrier filled with more sand and gravel and backed up by a huge-ass thick steel plate. anyone know of how much debris is needed to slow down and eventually stop 50BMG?

        2. classroom - the "Shoot Talks" were amazing, but if we are at Clark County Shooting Complex (hereafter, CCSC) next year then i want to definitely make use of the "classroom" space that they have there. (i also want that space so we have more room to chill out both during the day and possibly at night)

        3. camping - we didn't this year due to weather. i fear that we might not at all next year due to heat. it's WAY too hot out there to be in tents. and there is all kind of fucked up wildlife to be on bare ground. there were scorpions under our big Pelican cases when we went to pack up the Shoot gear, for pete's sake. fuck a bunch of that.

        4. heat in general - some folk will simply not like being in such hot conditions. we had that big misting fan. it thankfully turned out to not be necessary due to the weather, but we quickly realized it wouldn't do much to combat the heat if the day was hot and dry. maybe we just rent standing conventional fans next time? maybe nothing? i don't know.

        5. space - we could in theory get both the 50yd range (where we were this year) and the 100yd range next year. either or both together. more space is great, but entails more cost. that only gets defrayed if we add more people. i do not know how much i want the Shoot to grow. that's what killed it last time with CHS and Noid and everyone... too many shooters and not enough RSOs. every year we just squeak by with enough RSOs to be safe. unless we get serious commitments from lots of people WELL in advance of next year's Shoot, i don't want to expand it to both ranges.

        please put all feedback about the event here in this thread. i want to know what you liked and what you didn't. what worked and what needs improvement.

        thank you all for making this event what it is.
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor


        • #5
          This was my first shoot. It was really cool as a first timer to RSO. The level of safety was impressive. It is great to see so many people open and willing to follow directions for safety and still make it fun. The location was good to me (I have no previous DEFCON experience though).

          It would be hard to beat this venue from my past experience as a shooter. The BMG may be tough but I'd be willing to help with solutions. I've got a lot of friends who shoot them regularly and can look into backstop options.


          • #6
            I've been to the shoot a few years now. I have always brought my own guns an invite people to try different stuff out. A few things are better and a few things aren't.

            What's better:
            - The loation is fantastic. I love the hard ball road and the view looking back at the city is great. There is no dust, we still have cell phone reception, and there is a gas station and gun store not too far away. The lanes are wider, the shade is so needed, and we can never have enough extra tables.

            What's not:
            - The Thursday morning shoot time frame is interefing with Defcon now. In the past it would end and then that evening Defcon would start, and then DC101 entered at 1pm but we were usually back by then. But now we are missing things at 9am Thrusday. Maybe this will have to be a Wednesday morning / evening event instead. But I know I almost did not go because I was pulled in other directions. If I shoot next year the only option will be Wednesday as a result.

            - I bought a lane but when the bell went off and we started to shoot I saw that I had no lane. I had squatters. One guy wanted to be in part of my lane. I thought he meant to shoot. Nope, he wanted to teach another person how to shoot. So that was two bodies. On the rest of the lane was a kid with an AR. I have no idea who he was, or how he got there. After the first round of shooting was up 20 minutes later I was VERY vocal to them both that I had paid for the lane and should at least be able to shoot in PART of it. They both moved elsewhere.

            - I ended up with damage to two guns due to the shooter not knowing what they hell they are doing. Parts are enroute for my repair. You do NOT limp wrist a 1911. You do NOT rack a shotgun with a noddle arm, you take charge of it and perform a solid eject. Now if you have no idea what you are doing then do not shoot another's guns. Or maybe I will bring a revolver or a Glock for that.

            - The class in the middle of the shooting times made the day a bit long. I can't stay for the entore event as it is, and it cuts shoting time way down. Maybe class at the end?


            • #7
              I loved the old spot since it was rustic, and didn't feel like just "going to the local range", but the new location is great because it is more convenient, better for weather, easier to find, and has facilities and amenities. I haven't braved the poop-tent/pee-pee-tee-pee at Lovell Canyon, and I'm not missing it.

              I agree about the timing - I like the thought of making it to the con on Thursday, and would prefer an all-day Wednesday shoot if it meant I was free for Thursday. I enjoyed that there were talks, and am conflicted about when they happen - perhaps after the shooting sessions are done would be better. Overall I think that the talks added to the event, and would like to keep them.

              The layout of the lanes was an improvement. I felt good about having my party being able to shoot while I had room to instruct new shooters (or at least new to my stuff). I usually go home with at least one gun not working, and I expect it (but I haven't yet had to buy anything substantial to repair them with, either).

              Random thought - perhaps having people's forum handle on their shooter badge. Part of what I like about the shoot is the chance to get to know people, and that helps put names with faces.


              • #8
                This was my first Defcon shoot so I don't have any experience with the previous locale but things seemed to go fairly well and I do think the shooting complex is much better tailored if we want the event to have some breathing room as regular facilities and food close by. However as Deviant mentioned the area isn't particularly well suited for camping out as some very angry scorpions let us know. Nevada's climate in general is going to be an issue both on the range and off, though I was fairly cool and never felt overheated while I was there on day 2. I loved the educational portion of shoot, however I would personally prefer to see those types of activities done before hand or after the shoot. Timing was an issue period with the sudden venue change and I know we started cutting in time at Defcon (I was playing hooky from BlackHat myself) but if we could manage to put together a regular schedule next year it would help with allowing people to actually come in the first place.

                I'll echo a lot of things astcell had to say (thanks a million for the carpool btw)
                Specifically lane logistics were all over the place and a lot of people just decided to show up and setup shop while taking up more than half the lane and not respecting anyone that had initially paid for one nor asking permission. A better identification system like maybe a separate badge for someone who specifically rented out the lane with the identifying number would help as well as general education to new shooters about the Defcon shoot rules other than safety (great speech btw Dev).

                But the educational portion should probably take place at the end followed by cleanup or earlier before hand so it doesn't cut into to anyone's shooting time. Overall I had a great experience, lot's of fun and was great making new friends.


                • #9
                  Congratulations to all who helped on pulling off the event with little time to find a new spot.

                  New location was nice. Bathrooms, water fountains, access to rental guns, ammo for purchase - all very nice things.

                  I enjoyed helping as an RSO. The folks from my company that I brought out enjoyed the shoot immensely. Whatever schedule is set for next year we've all agreed that we'll work to get our schedules set so that we can participate in the shoot.

                  As far as .50BMG, perhaps start with a discussion of the backstop they have on the 200 yard range - is there a different backstop or is it just in a location where they don't mind big hunks of lead? If we were to build a backstop, a couple of feet of sand should do it, perhaps backed with 1/4" AR500 plate just in case. The discussion will likely hinge on the size required - a 1' square target is easy but also easy to miss while a 4' square is arguably plenty big but also a huge pain to construct (in 100+ temps). A discussion of the number of rounds likely to be fired would be appropriate - a plywood box filed with sand will stop a couple of rounds but if we're going to fire dozens of rounds we'll likely need a couple of replacement boxes. Perhaps one of the folks with .50bmg would be willing to build a box and try it out at the ranges we had this year (25 yards?) and provide feedback?


                  • #10
                    I would be all for a day/night Wednesday shoot, and eliminate Thursday morning, wither we do it at CCSC or Lovell Canyon.



                    • #11
                      Sorry for the late reply. I could have sworn I posted already but I guess I didn't.

                      I actually had the same thought, maybe the shoot should be Wednesday only, and a little longer on Wednesday. Every year I've camped/gone to the shoot on Thursday it's been an adventure to secure badges before they potentially run out. Sometimes I have other people coming with me that can get them, but sometimes not. I wound up skipping the Thursday shoot this year.

                      I had the same experience with squatters on my lane as was reported by others, but Deviant already knew about it because he happened to be standing close by so I grabbed him to ask him what was going on. I'm not sure what it was this year, but people without lanes seemed to be acting a little more bold than normal. Maybe it was because we were at a range so they just assumed that it was a free-for-all once they paid their entry fee.

                      Maybe we should have a designated free-for-all area. Charge a little more for the entry fee and give general admission people a section of their own, distinct from the reserved lanes area.

                      No one has mentioned something that I think is pretty big... we had actual target holders this year! That alone makes me like the range a lot more. No more sorting through jagged rocks and broken glass.

                      I'll miss the camping aspect and the old site, but the net advantages outweigh the nostalgia for me.

                      Consider this another vote for a CCSC Wednesday-only shoot.


                      • #12
                        This was my first year at the shoot. I liked the location.

                        There definitely wasn't much direction on the lanes. I didn't register in time to get a lane reserverd, so my wife and I kind of stood back for a while. I recall Deviant saying something about it being like in baseball, grab open spots, but be prepared to surrender when the real owner gets there. (don't quote me on that, it's just what I remember). Anyway, there was an open lane, and we squatted there. We didn't have a bunch of equipment or anything, just a couple handguns. It ended up being pukingmonkey's lane. He arrived late, and was very gracious. We immediately offered to vacate his lane, but he said he was happy to share with us. At the end of the day I finally got him to accept some money for use of the lane.

                        Gigs, I think a designated free-for-all area is a great idea. I don't have enough equipment to justify an entire lane, and I also enjoyed moving around and having the opportunity to shoot other's guns.

                        I'll also throw in my vote for Wednesday-only.

                        It turned out to be a great experience. We made new friends and had a lot of fun.


                        • #13
                          just jumping in to comment that I am also really interested on the idea of a "wednesday only" Shoot possibly in the future: start earlier... like arrive at noon and start shooting at 13:00 or so, and run until pretty late (sundown)

                          sessions would still be 1-hour (as far as "reserving" of lanes goes) and we would simply tell people that during some sessions there will be Shoot Talks in the classroom (provided we can use the classroom) so people can choose where they want to be: indoors or outdoors. if it proves super popular, we might even have to have a sign-up sheet for classroom seats to manage the crowd.

                          that provides for even more "shoot sessions" which means defraying the costs across more people and thus lower rates for lanes. same goes for entry badges. if we do this right, i could drop the price to $20 per regular shooter (and thus $10 for military and $15 for pre-registered un-free)

                          during times that we're not running "official" shoot talks, the classroom space could be available for impromptu talks, newbie gatherings, maybe even just playing a small loop film of "safety and rules for the DEF CON Shoot"

                          a lot of this hinges on us getting to use the classroom space. my current feels: if we can use that building, then let's stick with Clark County Shooting Complex. If we can't, then maybe back to the Canyon we go. (perhaps with a campout the night before? i don't know)
                          "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                          - Trent Reznor


                          • #14
                            I think people who have been to defcon before would rather take an extra day and not be so rushed, and I was surprised how packed Wed was compared to Thrs (not sure if weather scared people away)

                            But I personally moved from:
                            1st defcon "I'll get there thrs afternoon, check in, and that leaves time to get a badge and do some 101 stuff, the conf doesn't start until friday anyway right? Crap I missed the shoot that I didn't know existed"
                            2nd-more recent cons: "I'll get there wed night, that gives me time to make the shoot thrs, and have a friend get a badge, and have some time thrs afternoon"
                            more recent cons: "I'll get there wed morning, check in, get out to the shoot (slightly rushed), and camp/come back wed night with an option to make the thrs shoot".

                            If we move the shoot much earlier wed I have to take a awful early AM flight eastern time to get to vegas earlier, or fly tuesday afternoon/night. I'm up for it, but I'm not sure many others are.

                            To pitch a long-shot idea: if we can get defcon to sell badges at the shoot, would that solve the major issue for everyone not attending the thrs shoot?


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by darkwind View Post

                              That would solve my issues, for sure. I wonder how receptive the powers that be would be for this idea?

                              I am not "the powers that be" and am not speaking for DEF CON, but can provide comments on why this probably would not be officially supported. Risks of theft are significant enough that those that organize things at DEF CON try to limit cash transactions to two places: vendor, badge sales, and then limit badge sales to two places (DEF CON badge sales space and BlackHat.) Security guards, casino/hotel security cameras, and checks to make sure cash used to pay the hotel and insurance companies so we can have DEF CON has to be accounted for in use, and steps taken to avoid theft and violence related to theft.

                              Making badge sales happen on Wed. at the DEF CON shoot before they are available on Thursday morning for normal sale would also likely cause large number of people to want to drive out to the shoot to get badges. Even if only 25% of 30,000 people drove out, would there be enough space for parking? It would be a nightmare at Lovell Canyon. If you imply that badge sales should start on Wednesday, then would that then be pushing official DEF CON events from Thursday out to Wednesday, defeating a Wednesday-only Shoot, forcing it to move to Tuesday?

                              If badge sales ever does move to Wednesday morning, then I would bet there would be Wednesday events. Why? What happens when you have 10,000-30,000 people with concert tickets hanging out for 24 hours, waiting for the concert to begin? I'd expect similar risks with DEF CON, but idle hacker hands might make the results worse.

                              The better option might be for all of you going to the shoot (or a significant number of you) to make arrangements with someone standing in line for you, to buy your badges for you.If 20-30 of you each paid the person $10 to stand in line for your badges, then they could not only get your badges, but use what you pay them to get their own badge for "free" (as a service for helping you.) This creates other problems, as people are ALWAYS late to picking up their badge, and what can be done to get their badge to them? Will the person standing in line get 20-30 phne calls, "hey, meet me at the $restraurant in [Caesars**Bally's**Linq**Paris**Alexis_Park***]" forcing them to spend all of their Wed travelling to meet people.

                              I doubt that DEF CON would arrange for any official sales of badges at the Shoot. Any of you could make plans to have people buy badges for you, though.

                              Sorry to bring the bad news, but hope it helps you plan,