WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Springfield Armory’s Las Vegas Desert Duel

For the second time this year I had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas for a writers’ event with Springfield Armory, the Desert Duel. At the previous event, “The Writer Shoot,” they introduced us to the hammer driven XD-E. This time we saw a whole lot more … I just can’t tell you about all of it it yet.

Springfield Armory XDE. The best elements of the world-renowned XD® Series condensed into an intuitive, comfortable and accurate pistol.

Gear Up is sponsored by Springfield Armory

Once again, we stayed at the Paris, on The Strip and ate some amazing meals. The Eiffel Tower Restaurant and Gordon Ramsay Steak created mouthwatering dishes I would surely dine on during my next trip to Vegas. For you dessert lovers, I highly recommend Ramsay’s legendary sticky toffee pudding. Order it as an appetizer though, so you have enough room in your belly to eat the whole thing. It’s OK, just remember, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”




As in the previous trip, the writers had no idea what new products Springfield planned on introducing. The day we arrived, Springfield introduced the SAINT AR-15 Pistol.



Instead of a rifle buttstock, the new SAINT AR-15 pistol features a rugged SB Tactical SBX-K forearm brace to reduce size, stabilize recoil and enhance accuracy in 1 or 2-hand shooting.

Action-targets-array-springfield Desert Duel

My eyes about popped out of my head when arrived at the Clark County Education Center and Range. Lined up from end-to-end of the 100 yard range stood steel targets such as I have never seen. Action Target outdid themselves with the amount of steel and autotargets they brought in. Surely, that meant we would shoot a lot of ammo.


Of all the firearms I shot the first day (remember, I can’t share everything), the RO Elite Operator in 9mm made the top of my list of favorites. If I hadn’t known the caliber, I might have guessed it as a .22. Yes, it shot that soft, with very little recoil. As smooth as butter!


At the end of the first day, we all competed in the Desert Duel 12 Man Double Elimination Tournament. Autotargets, multiple plate racks, hostage targets, a dueling tree and multiple firearms made quite the set-up for us to prove our shooting abilities. We quickly found out who knew and understood the fundamentals of shooting.



The second day brought the introduction of more firearms, including the SAINT Edge. This new AR-15 in the SAINT line consists of a slick billet-machined lower receiver with Accu-tite™ tension system, patent-pending full-length free float handguard, modular trigger system, unique mid-sized charging handle – even the new SA-Lite™ muzzle brake is a special Springfield Armory design. Let me tell you, Springfield Armory got it right with this flat shooting, high quality AR-15. The out-of-the-box ready rifle has all the bells and whistles you might want, including an ambidextrous safety selector for left handed shooters.

Action-Targets-Springield-Vegas Desert Duel

After we had the opportunity to shoot all the new firearms, the day ended with the Desert Duel Mega Challenge Single Elimination Tournament. With multiple colored targets downrange, we shot certain targets with specified guns. Beginning at the outsides of the array, on opposite sides of the range, challengers moved closer to each other after firing each gun – eventually and with the possibility of ending up side-by-side to engage the final 3 hostage targets. Laughter, cheering, high-5s and hugs, everyone watched as the final 4 competed.


Once again, Springfield Armory put on a fantastic writers’ event – from the the accommodations and food, to range time. I’ve introduced a few of their newest firearms, but believe me, there are more on the way and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Oh, as for the results of the Desert Duel Mega Challenge … I finished in 2nd place!

  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, first entered the firearms industry in 2011 as co-owner, president and trainer at a national training company. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as owner of Pervenio LLC. She also manages social media for Vera Koo and GTM Original. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore.