2nd Annual Texas Firearms Festival
This year marked a momentous turn for the newborn Texas Firearms Festival outside Austin, Texas. On November 14th, thousands of gun enthusiasts and hundreds of companies were present to educate, inform, and entertain each other. Looking back on the 2nd Annual Texas Firearms Festival, it's clear to see where this sort of event attracts a different audience than what normally attends SHOT Show.
New Ammunition Styles: More Than Meets The Bullseye
There's a lot of people who know exactly what they like and that's it. Those people likely didn't get as much out of the Texas Firearms Festival as those who came willing to explore new things.
Perhaps one of the biggest innovations in the past five to seven years has been the rapid expansion of new types of ammunition to meet different needs. Whereas before everyone seemed to rely on the same ole Jacketed Hollow Points (JHP) for self-defense and Full Metal Jackets (FMJ), there's WAY more out there.
For instance, Axelson Tactical introduced a pretty awesome new frangible copper round designed specifically for intense training. Recognizing the need for a bullet that broke apart quickly on impact with a hard surface but could still penetrate soft tissue as good as a JHP, Axelson Tactical brought their product to test out on a variety of different rifles and pistols.
Black Ops ammunition was also front line and center with their offerings. Using the excuse to allow participants to live-fire their ammo through an assortment of Hechler & Koch rifles and pistols, it really helped drill home the application of some of the more nuanced bullets out on the market.
Big Opportunity For Brands To Take The Limelight
Glock, Colt, Ruger, Sig Sauer... These gun manufacturers need no introduction. Everyone that handles handguns on a regular basis understands these are some of the biggest players out on the field. Sig Sauer, though, has definitely felt the crunch in recent years with the high price point of their handguns. They're aiming specifically at those who value great craftsmanship for a reasonable cost. But for the person walking around a gun store, stick-shock hits before anything else.
Sig Sauer came out in full force to the Texas Firearms Festival with a wide selection of handguns and rifles to try out. And the audience was syked! Lines for the Sig Sauer shooting gallery were a bit of a wait. In the meantime, they brought out all their major lines of pistols and rifles in an attempt to show prospective gun buyers that there's more to a gun than just the price.
Another big showing was FNH. FNH has long made a great line of full sized handguns – such as the FNX Tactical .45. But when it came to concealed carry offerings, their FNS-9C and 40C kind of fell by the wayside in terms of recognition. Offering three spots on the range to try out the collector series M-16, FNS-9, and FNS-9C, FNH provided potential customers an excellent opportunity to see how FNH makes a well-blended family of firearms for all occasions.
In conclusion, the Texas Firearms Festival easily doubled in size from last year.
With the additional vendors, opportunities to learn, and live-fire shooting ranges, the Texas Firearms Festival appears to be an excellent opportunity to become intimately familiar with product lines you may have never known about before.
Shot Show is also quickly approaching and we will be there, here is a video from shot show 2014 that we dubbed "Holster Price Challenge"
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.