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. Unlike many large shooting events, however, the DEF CON Shoot doesn't typically take place at an established, brick-and-mortar gun range. Instead, we roll our own, so-to-speak.

Maybe you have a favorite chef in your hometown who is adventurous and will rent out abandoned space for a pop-up restaurant that only lasts one weekend or maybe you've attended an off-book beer garden on the edge of a city street one afternoon. The DEF CON Shoot has historically been like that. We rent tables, canopies, and I bring all the necessary safety equipment and amenities... and we have ourselves a pop-up gun range out on open land in the Nevada desert. It's a hackers' firing line that exists for only one day every year, then when the guns fall silent it vanishes again... not to be seen for another 364 days.



The 2019 DEF CON Shoot will take place at the open "education area" offered to us by Pro Gun Vegas at 12801 US 95 South Boulder City, NV 89005. While this is a "new" location for us compared to the past few years, some very long-time participants may recall that this was the location where we all met over a decade ago when I was re-starting the DEF CON Shoot. See the photo collections at the very bottom of this page. (The site is under new management now, and is eager to welcome us back so we can see what we think of the place.)

For specific directions to the shoot site you can drop the following Lat/Long coordinates into a GPS device... 35.960119, -114.917067

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 Thursday, but with the conference having more and more activities on that day, we started running some of the Shoot on Wednesday. Last year, we moved the shoot exclusively to Wednesday. That worked well for everyone who had Goon duties and DEF CON prep on Thursday, and it is how the schedule will remain for 2019...


Wednesday, August 7th

Rental Gear Setup - 07:00 - 10:00

Staff Setup - 10:00 - 11:00

Registration - 10:30 - 11:30

Intro & Safety - 11:30 - 12:00

Session 01 - 12:00 - 13:30

Session 02 - 13:30 - 15:00

Shoot Talk - 15:00 - 16:00

Suppressor Session - 15:15 - 15:45

Session 03 - 16:00 - 17:30

Session 04 - 17:30 - 19:00

Cleanup - 19:00 - 19:30


Thursday, August 8th

no DEFCON Shoot

Go enjoy the rest of DEF CON, BSides, and Black Hat

Rental Gear Pack-up - 10:00 - 12:00


Each 90 minute shooting session 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 plenty of 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, and the like... but the main focus has always involved eyes and ears being covered. (Save for when we have the suppressor round... see just below!)Starting in 2016, there was a new element added to this event: Shoot Talks!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. Speakers will be then afforded use of the staff lane during the shoot session right after their talk, where they can 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.

If the Shoot Talk isn't your cup of tea, we also do allow use of some of the firing line for 30 minutes during this time window... but for suppressed shooting only. Hopefully your cans are of good enough quality that it doesn't disturb the Shoot Talk too much. ;-)

Shoot Talk for 2019...TBD... email me with submissions if you like



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!)

DEF CON Shoot 2019 Registration page

On-site cash registration is possible, but space is not guaranteed. Historically, the most dedicated folk have opted to pre-register!



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 or hit me up on Twitter to connect with others about any questions you may have. Ride sharing, t-shirt designs, camping arrangements, and more are all discussed on the forums.



Yes... by all accounts, most casinos (and casino-hotels) in Las Vegas are now all wary of one of their guests being the next deranged shooter who tries to sew mayhem and discontent by raining horrible firepower down from a window. There is news coverage as well as anecdotal chatter from folk who report that guests are being subject to greater scrutiny if they have Pelican cases, long cases, etc. However, it should be noted:1. Most Vegas hotels have had a no firearms policy for a while now2. You're still VERY unlikely to get much scrutiny if your luggage doesn't look "firearm-ish"

In any case, I suspect that a lot of you may become familiar with something that lots of us more heavily-armed folk have known for years when staying in Las Vegas: the bulk of the mainstream casino-hotels will allow guests to check their legal firearms with the security office during their stay. I've done this before at multiple other properties and plan to do so with the Caesar's if I bring any long, obvious rifle cases this summer. Simply call ahead so you know what is expected at the casino, then plan a little more time in your schedule to accommodate this part of the process. Or stay in an AirBNB or a shitball place nearby like a Siegel Suites, the Circus Circus Motor Lodge, or a Travelodge. I'm betting they don't care at all there... they just want their $56 per night and prefer you to not leave used heroin works in the potted plants outside.



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...

DEFCON Shoot : A Convergence Of Hacking And Shooting
InRange TV


My web gallery has a few photos from the 2018 DEF CON Shoot...

deviant's gallery


My web gallery has a few photos from the 2017 DEF CON Shoot...

deviant's gallery


My web gallery has a few photos from the 2016 DEF CON Shoot...

deviant's gallery


My web gallery has a few photos from the 2015 DEF CON Shoot...

deviant's gallery


My web gallery has a few photos from the 2013 DEF CON Shoot...

deviant's gallery


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...