While attending the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas, I, along with two of my friends, had the opportunity to attend Media Range Day, hosted by the American Suppressor Association (ASA). I am in the process of getting my first suppressor, so I was excited to learn more about this part of the firearms industry, as well as enjoy an afternoon of recoil- and sound-minimized shooting.
Sponsored by Volquartsen Firearms
As we loaded into our pickup truck and headed out to the Elm Fork Shooting Sports range, ominous storm clouds filled the Texas sky. With our fingers crossed that the rain would hold off, we arrived at the range and picked up our eye and ear protection. Fortunately, the gallery where we would be shooting was covered, and we all gathered around to hear the safety briefing and guidelines for the afternoon.
Each vendor had a table with multiple guns and suppressor options to try. We decided to start at the far end of the gallery and work our way down in the time we had allotted before our next event. Our first experience was with Andrew from Surefire. I was able to shoot a BCM .300 Blackout carbine with a SOCOM300 SPS suppressor. With the combination of the suppressor and subsonic ammunition, not only did I barely feel a thing as I squeezed the trigger, but the sound was minimal as well—two of my favorite reasons for shooting suppressed!
We moved on to the Gemtech table, where I shot a Ruger 10/22 with a MIST-22 suppressor. Other suppressors screw onto the end of the barrel of a firearm, but the MIST-22 is integrated into the Ruger’s barrel, which means there is no additional length on the rifle. As I suspected, shooting this suppressed rifle was something I could do all day; I literally didn’t even know I was shooting. There was no recoil, and barely any sound.
Next, we stopped at the Hudson space. Hudson Manufacturing, one of the sponsors of the event, doesn’t produce suppressors, but the company was promoting its new pistols. I couldn’t help but pick up the H9, which was available to shoot suppressed, and squeeze off a few shots downrange. Although a suppressor is not an option for concealed carry, it would be a great addition to a handgun for a more enjoyable day at the range. It can be an interesting challenge to adjust to the weight a suppressor adds to the front of a handgun.
I shot the H9 accompanied by the Obsidian 9 suppressor; its manufacturer, Rugged Suppressors, was set up at the adjacent table. From that table I was also excited to shoot a Volquartsen .22 with an Oculus22 suppressor. These were a perfect pairing, as Volquartsen has many .22 and .17 rifles with threaded barrels. By adding a suppressor, you have the perfect combination of quality and shooting pleasure.
Yankee Hill Machine had a Remington 700 .308 Win. for us to shoot, using a Resonator, one of the company’s .30-caliber suppressors. I was also able to try an AR 5.56 with a Turbo suppressor. This combo was a lot of fun to shoot, and I could see it being something I would want to add to my firearm and accessories collection.
We ended at the Daniel Defense booth, another event sponsor. I really like the look and feel of the company’s firearms, and I was able to shoot a DD 5V1 in .308 with a DD Wave suppressor. This gun had the most felt recoil, but it was manageable suppressed. I felt like I was shooting a lot of controlled power, which I enjoyed. It was a fantastic way to end the afternoon.
As I left each table, I asked the company reps what they thought set their product apart from the others on display. None of them had anything negative to say about the other companies. They each, however, had something unique to say about the brand they promoted. The guys at Surefire were very proud of the contract they were awarded in November of 2017 to provide suppressors, muzzle breaks and blank firing adapters to the Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The Gemtech rep shared his company’s history with us, including the incredible story of Dr. Phil Dater and his humble beginning. The people at Hudson were excited to showcase their new pistol, complete with a dropdown recoil spring and many other patent-pending features. Rugged boasts incredible quality and belt-fed rated suppressors. The reps at Yankee Hill Machine state that the affordability of the company’s suppressors make them an “every day can.” And Daniel Defense keeps everything in house, proudly manufacturing its firearms and cans in the U.S.A.
I am grateful for my opportunity to attend this range day, thanks to the ASA and other sponsors. While this event was incredibly enjoyable, it was also a perfect picture of an industry where everyone shows their diversity while maintaining a common goal—the furtherance of our Second Amendment freedoms. When it comes to suppressors, and often firearms in general, fear and simple ignorance are often at the root of opposition. I learned a lot in one afternoon, and I’d love to see more women at the next event. Armed with this knowledge and experience, we can show the world that guns, suppressed or not, are not the enemy.
Ashlee Lundvall writes a blog titled "Redefining Life," that follows her rise from a debilitating injury as a teenager to Ms. Wheelchair USA in 2013. Her first book, "A Redefined Life," was released in February of 2016, and she was recently invited to join the National Pro Staff for Mossy Oak and the NRA’s Disabled Shooting Sports committee, and is on the President's Council for Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. Ashlee is also the recipient of the 2017 SCI Foundation Pathfinder Award. Ashlee truly shines as a keynote speaker at outdoor industry and disability related events and conferences. She is passionate about mentoring newly injured patients, and loves to pass on her love for adapted outdoor recreation! View all posts by Ashlee Lundvall