I just returned from a three-day trip covering the NSSF Shooting Sports Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas. It was a great event, something every shooter—regardless of skillset—would enjoy. You don't have to be a skilled marksman to attend. The only requirement is knowing the rules of gun safety and religious adherence to them, always.
Expert marksmanship isn't mandatory, thankfully (or I wouldn't have been invited). I'll be the first to admit I was having real trouble hitting the MGM Targets steel with my Springfield XD. The professional shooters/instructors were helpful in my frustration and fellow students supportive. But, when I heard that "ding" it felt like I hit the lottery. With shotgun and AR I was OK, but I need a ton of practice with a handgun and a lot more than the several hundred 9 mm rounds I lumbered downrange last week.
Convenient pickup from the airport is included in the NSSF Shooting Sports Fantasy Camp package. If you've ever waited in a cab line in Vegas, you understand how nice that is. The return to catch your departing flight is also covered.
So are your meals and lodging. Snacks/drinks/sunscreen are provided at the range. Show up with your guns, and you're good to go. Shotshells (12-gauge), 9 mm and .223 Rem. cartridges are supplied by sponsors during the event. Loaner firearms are available, but inquire before registering (I brought only my handgun and no one would have noticed if I left it behind).
I have assignments from several magazines and websites to write up the NSSF Shooting Sports Fantasy Camp. It's a real smorgasbord for gun writers with a camera. Lots of gear is running fast, professionals in the field can be interviewed and expert advice is dispensed at every stage.
Unfortunately, I was running a gun, well, guns. Standing on the firing line was a blast, but it compromised the time needed to get the kind of quotes and photos readers enjoy. Don't get me wrong, I got plenty—to the tune of more than 6,000 images, 60 of which may be decent. I always want more when I go to an event like this, though (hint, hint, NSSF, at least one gun writer enjoys third-person reporting).
NSSF Shooting Sports Fantasy Camp Summary
I've never been to a shooting event that ran on schedule, always. Meals were served on time and the people I met are the kind of folks I'd invited to a family BBQ, always. Their stories were amazing, from one man on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that included high-speed driving and helicopter schools, to a retired member of the 82nd Airborne. EVERYONE had a story, and for a reporter/photog, that's a target rich environment where even I can't miss.
Hat tip to the NSSF Shooting Sports Fantasy Camp team. You put on a great show. And a big thank you goes out to the sponsors, including FIME Group (Rex Zero 1), LWRC, Hornady,Polycase, Sig Sauer, Winchester Ammunition, Blackhawk, Leupold, Birchwood Casey, Apex Tactical Specialties, Sinterfire, Steel Target Paint, NFused, NSSF, Comp Tac, Mossberg and Timney Triggers.
For a look at a few more photos and video, you can take a look my Fear and Loading YouTube video.