I arrived at the airport early. Upon boarding the plane, on my way to the Beretta Tactical Summit, I realized I had no idea what to expect. When I finally landed at the Richmond, Va., airport — 6 hours (and 4 planes) later than my original arrival time — a driver holding the sign, “The O’Gara Group” greeted me as expected.
Soon I met up the with the other writers and enjoyed a delicious meal at a local Bed and Breakfast. We would need all the fuel we could get to help us make it through the next few days.
The first day of the Beretta Tactical Summit began at the shooting range. Here Beretta introduced their first striker fired pistol, the APX. Although touted as the perfect handgun for law enforcement and military operators, I find it an excellent choice for home defense.
Why use the APX for home defense?
After a morning shooting the APX on the range and a buffet lunch, we headed out for a defensive driving course. Yes, just a little outside my comfort zone. Carrie Leightfoot (The Well Armed Woman) and I donned our helmets and braced for impact. The course began with us driving on a track that involved S curves, serpentines, controlled braking and speed. Although I started out quite slow, by the end I reached 80mph (at least for a little bit.)
From there we headed over to the skid pad. Prior to us driving, the instructor thoroughly wet down the pad. Two vehicles at a time drove on the track with an instructor in the front and a passenger in the back. My instructor worked the gas and brakes while I controlled the steering wheel, or at least tried to. Between the tires squealing, car spinning and someone in the car screaming, (OK, maybe it was me.) it was quite an experience.
After dinner, just when I thought they couldn’t pack anything more into 1 day, we headed back to the range. This time for low light and no-light shooting using flashlights and military NODs (night observation devices). I had no problem with actual shooting part of the “no light” shooting. However, when it involved walking and loading magazine, I had to peek underneath the goggles.
On the final day of the Tactical Summit, we suited up with safety gear and headed into the shoot house. Or I should say, “Carrie and I learned how to dynamically enter a room and clear it.”
In teams of 2, we took turns breeching the door and entering the room. With 2 shots to the body and 1 to the head (a failure drill), we engaged each target encountered with the APX pistol — quite a dramatic presentation of how this new pistol from Beretta may be used.
For our afternoon range time we had the opportunity to shoot Tikka’s T3 TAC A1 in 6.5 Creedmoor. Let’s just say this bolt action, long range rifle shot tight at 300 yards.
So, how does one end 2 full days of range time with Beretta? With more fine dining and comradre among outdoor writers and the staff members of Beretta. Oh, and maybe some discussions about the APX and how it may #WinTheFight.