The DEF CON Shoot is a public event that happens just prior to the DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is an opportunity to see and possibly shoot some of the guns belonging to your friends while taking pride in showing and firing your own steel, as well, in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.



The 2017 DEF CON Shoot will take place at the Cold Creek shooting spot just outside of Indian Springs, to the northwest of Las Vegas. This is a change from previous years.

For specific directions to the shoot site you can drop the following Lat/Long coordinates into a GPS device... 36.553, -115.654

The maps on the Directions page should help give you a decent idea of how to get there, as well.



The DEF CON Shoot takes place prior to the start of DEF CON. In the past, this has meant an early start on Thursday, wrapping up around noon. However, we tried something new a while back and it was so popular that this is now the new routine...

There are TWO segments to the DEF CON Shoot: Wednesday Dusk and Thursday Dawn.

People arrive for the Wednesday Dusk Shoot anytime after 16:30, and the lane rental sessions take place from 18:00 to 20:30. The Thursday Dawn Shoot people arrive between 09:00 and 09:30 and the lane rental sessions run from 10:00 to 12:30...

Day One - Wednesday

Rental Gear Set-up - 14:00 - 15:00

Staff & Camp Set-up - 16:00 - 17:00

Shooter Arrival - 16:30

Shooter Reg - 16:30 - 17:00

Intro & Safety - 17:00 - 17:30

Session W1 - 17:30 - 18:30

Shoot Talk - 18:30 - 19:30

Session W2 - 19:30 - 20:30

Clean-up - 20:30 - 21:00

Day Two - Thursday


Staff Set-up & Camp Pack-up - 08:00 - 09:00

Shooter Arrival - 08:30

Shooter Reg - 08:30 - 09:00

Intro & Safety - 09:00 - 09:30

Session R1 - 09:30 - 10:30

Shoot Talk - 10:30 - 11:30

Session R2 - 11:30 - 12:30

Clean-up - 12:30 - 13:00

Rental Gear Pack-up - 13:00 - 14:00

Each hour should consist of repeated periods involving about 12 to 13 minutes of shooting, followed by 2 or 3 minutes for cease-fire and target prep. That gives everyone four break periods to reset targets, etc.



Historically, the DEF CON Shoot has consisted only of one element: great time on the firing line. Before and after there's socializing, sometimes camping (see below), and the like... but the main focus has always involved eyes and ears being covered. (Save for when we have a suppressor round!)

Starting in 2016, there was a new element added to this event: Shoot Talks!

By adjusting our schedule (see above) by a half hour each day, we've now carved out a one-hour break in between firing sessions and this time is afforded to guest speakers who will offer presentations about firearms and firearm hacking. Historical facts, unique designs, new technologies... you name it, we'll showcase it. Often, speakers will be then afforded one of the lanes in the day's second shoot session where they will showcase the hardware that was being discussed.

DEF CON Shoot Talks... for folk who want to learn about, then handle, and then actively fire the kinds of guns that you often only see posted about on internet enthusiast forums or in shooting publications. Come learn something! If you'd like to submit a talk for possible inclusion at a DEF CON Shoot, simply email me. Speakers get badged into the event for free if their talk is accepted.

Talks for 2018...

speaker - Talk


speaker - Talk




For many years, the DEF CON Shoot was a beloved part of the world's largest hacker convention. Gun owning geeks would rally together in Vegas for DEF CON and -- in between the talks, parties, and general goings-on in Sin City -- they would take the time one morning to head out in the desert and blow off some steam by letting loose with loads of ordinance. Organized by CHS, a highly venerated DEF CON Goon, this event took place year after year until 2005.

As is so often the case with events at DEF CON, times had changed and the event had outgrown its surroundings. For a number of years, there was no DEF CON Shoot... the ranges where it had taken place in the past had been swallowed up by the city's suburban sprawl and folks just needed a break. Now, however, with the help of some new blood, the event has been resurrected. While CHS is no longer leading the proceedings, we always hope to see him and many of the veterans of past DC-Shoot events at the firing line.

I frequently used to gather some of my closest compadres for trips to local rental ranges like The Gun Store or American Shooters, but since I have only been attending DEF CON since DC8 I thus missed out on a great deal of the earlier fun. Nowadays, I have become the DEF CON Shoot's primary coordinator and have tried to whip up enough gun enthusiasts' support to see this sort of high-powered good time continue happening.



This isn't a gun range and i'm not trying to run this like a business or anything, but starting in 2011 we established a small registration system for people to gain access to the event and reserve shooting lanes. This was necessary in order to manage the number of people (or at least PLAN for the number of people) and to keep the line from becoming unsafely crowded. Also, that was the first year that we started to have significant overhead (in all senses of the term... both in costs as well as sun shade for the participants!)

Pre-registration for the 2017 Shoot has concluded, but we still accept cash on-site.

On-site, all participants pay the same flat $25 rate per badge, regardless of which type of badge they will be using (Standard, Military, or Un-Free) and any remaining open lanes are available for cash sign-ups, as well.



So, you think you'd like to participate in the newly-revitalized DEF CON Shoot? That's great! We look forward to you joining us. Use the above link to pre-register and then swing on over to the DEF CON Forums to talk with others about any questions you may have. Ride sharing, t-shirt designs, camping arrangements, and more are all discussed on the forums.



Yes, indeed... it's always a great time when you get a bunch of gun people together.

I don't update these gallery links much anymore, because now you can always check Twitter for the hashtag #DEFCONshoot to see what folk share. There are some great photos!

There have been a few great video pieces filmed out in the desert with us, as well...


My web gallery has a few photos from the 2012 DEF CON Shoot...

deviant's gallery


Here is z0rlac's video montage from the 2012 DEF CON Shoot...

z0rlac's video


There were some great videos shot at the 2011 DEF CON Shoot...


My web gallery has a few photos from the 2010 DEF CON Shoot..

deviant's gallery


Here is a video montage from the 2009 DEF CON Shoot...

deviant's video


Here are some photos from the 2008 DEF CON Shoot...