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Inside CANCON Arizona 2024 | RECOIL OFFGRID

CANCON Arizona 2024, which took place just outside of Phoenix, was a landmark event in the firearms community, bringing together enthusiasts, manufacturers, and professionals for a weekend filled with innovative suppressor demonstrations, competitive shooting events, and interactive vendor experiences. With Gun Broker leading the charge as a primary sponsor, this one-of-a-kind experience drew in a large crowd from every corner of the globe, and continuously proved that it is a must attend event for anyone passionate about firearms. 

An adult woman fires a suppressed handgun during CANCON Arizona 2024.

Above: For many, CANCON was the first opportunity to learn the benefits of firing a suppressed firearm.

Event Highlights

Everything took place at the Ben Avery Shooting Center, known for its expansive and well-maintained facilities, which provided the perfect venue for CANCON Arizona. Capitalizing on the sunny Arizona weather, the location at Ben Avery created a vibrant and engaging atmosphere for attendees. No one was worried about getting rained out or needing to dress for a potential dip in temperature. The center’s numerous shooting lanes and vendor booths were buzzing with activity, reflecting the high energy and enthusiasm of the participants.

Group of CANCON participants raising their hands in the hopes of being selected to participate in the Pros vs Joes competition.

Above: CANCON participants were selected at random to participate in the Pros vs Joes competition in the hopes of winning a custom handgun.

From live silencer demonstrations and nighttime shotgun shooting, to suppressed belt-fed machine guns and competitive shooting events, the choice of venue allowed for a wide range of activities. The spacious layout facilitated easy movement between different areas, ensuring attendees could experience everything the event had to offer without feeling overcrowded. But what really set this event apart was the fact that participants could fill out the paperwork to make purchases immediately after taking a product for a test drive at the range.

New Product Releases

CANCON Arizona 2024 was a significant platform for new product unveilings. One of the standout products was Aero Precision’s Solus competition rifle, which comes with a chassis and the Lahar-30 suppressor. This rifle is designed to offer precision and ease of use at a competitive price point, making it an attractive option for both seasoned shooters and newcomers.

Case of Tion silencers.

Above: Some companies like Tion, brought their entire range of suppressors to the range for participants to try before buying.

Dead Air showcased several new suppressors, including the Nomad Ti XC, Nomax 33, and the Mojave 9 in new colors, as well as the 6mm Lazarus 6. These products highlighted Dead Air’s commitment to innovation and quality, offering a range of options to suit different shooting needs and preferences​.

Unique Silencer Demonstrations

The silencer demonstrations at CANCON were the meat and potatoes of the whole event. B&T presented their breaching shotgun suppressors, which drew significant attention for their unique design and effectiveness. These suppressors are particularly useful for law enforcement and military applications, demonstrating how cutting-edge technology can enhance operational capabilities​​.

A CANCON vendor discussing their products with a participant.

Above: B&T’s Nate Gerhart discusses the nuances of their suppressed firearms with a CANCON participant.

Another head-turner was the integrated suppressors built into the design of lever-action rifles. The look was unconventional, but there was no denying the effectiveness. Some of the silenced lever actions seemed to be as quiet as a suppressed 9mm. Of course, this is just scratching the surface, as not a single firearm was fired unsuppressed. Everything from handguns to military machine guns had a can on the end of the barrel, and participants were able to take each one for a spin!

Pros vs. Joes

One of the most exciting aspects of CANCON AZ was the Pros vs. Joes competition. This series pitted randomly selected attendees against industry professionals in a series of blind challenges. Participants faced off using a variety of firearms and suppressors, with the opportunity to win prizes such as the new CANiK TTI Combat, a striker-fired polymer handgun developed in collaboration with Taran Butler​​.

Photo of Recoil's own pro getting ready to fire at the range.

Above: Recoil’s own Pro Ian Harrison gets ready to fire.

Trigger Interactive provided the target system used during the Pros vs. Joes event. Their system utilizes smart target technology, allowing for the creation of dynamic and engaging training scenarios tailored to individual needs. First it sends up an orange flag, indicating which target to shoot, then by sensing the motion of a round hitting the target, it can relay the exact time an impact was made, providing the most accurate data for shooting competitions. Through their app, it can report speeds and set numerous training scenarios, which proved an invaluable resource for the judges assessing shooter performance.

CANCON participants fist bumping.

Above: The staff and vendors provided expert guidance and gave participants advice and encouragement.

The competition was designed to be both challenging and fun, with the rules and stages kept secret until participants stepped up to the line. This added an element of surprise and excitement, making the event more engaging for both participants and spectators​. Pro’s included Recoil’s very own Tom Marshall and Ian Harrison. We even learned that some of our Canadian neighbors, one of which was a “Joe” selected from the crowd, perform pretty well behind the trigger!

Run-N-Gun TV Series

Another new addition to CANCON was the Run-N-Gun TV series. This industry-only competition involved sponsor companies fielding their best shooters in a time-based challenge. The event was filmed for later broadcast, adding a professional production element and providing valuable exposure for participating brands​.

A HMMWV with a suppressed M2 .50cal mounted to the turret.

Above: Eye catching displays were everywhere, keeping vendors engaged with CANCON participants.

The Run-N-Gun competition was a no-holds-barred, bare-knuckle shooting match where the only goal was to hit all targets in the shortest time possible. This intense competition tested the skills and speed of the participants, making for exciting viewing both at the event and later on television​​. Be on the lookout for more Run-N-Gun content on the RecoilTV streaming service, or the RECOILtv YouTube channel.

Vendor Participation

Vendor participation at CANCON Arizona 2024 was exceptional, with dozens of manufacturers and retailers setting up booths to showcase their products. Notable participants included FN, ZRODelta, and The HUB, who brought an impressive array of silenced firearms for attendees to test​. However, there were too many to mention here, but every vendor present helped to make CANCON the amazing event that it was. At each booth, event goers were met with friendly company reps, passionate about what they do and excited to talk about their products.

Photo of CANCON Arizona participants walking through the myriad of vendors.

Participating vendors provided attendees with the opportunity to engage directly with industry leaders, try out new products, and take advantage of exclusive deals and discounts. The interactive nature of the vendor booths enhanced the overall experience, making CANCON a valuable event for both attendees and exhibitors.

An adult woman happy about firing a suppressed firearm.

Above: CANCON Arizona was the perfect opportunity for the public to take a myriad of silenced firearms for a test drive.

Not to be outdone by firearm companies, the food scene at CANCON was well received. Food trucks provided all manner of comfort foods, BBQ, fresh sandwiches and even coffee for that midday pick-me-up. There was plenty of seating in the shade for those who wanted to cool down, grab a snack, or chow down on a hearty meal.

VIP Experience

Of particular noteworthiness at CANCON AZ, was the VIP experience. VIP ticket holders received early access to the event, allowing them to explore the venue and test firearms an entire day before the general public arrived. Each VIP received a special VIP bag loaded with over $2000 worth of gear and vouchers, including the opportunity to choose a suppressor from Anechoic’s lineup, and a threaded barrel from Silencer Co​. VIP’s were also encouraged to stay after dark to experience firing suppressed under night vision optics.

Steel Industries, a well known purveyor of night vision optics, brought a truck load of goodies for after dark. Everything from Team Wendy helmets, to single, dual and quad-tube NVGs were available to wear, try and buy. Plus their staff were on hand to answer questions and help those new to night vision get the settings dialed in so they could hit targets hiding in the dark.

Photo of firearms being fired at a night vision range as seen through colored digital night vision.

Above: The nighttime range was a great way for VIP’s to experience shooting with NVG’s, for many it was their first time (Photo taken with Sionyx digital night vision).

For those lucky enough to snag a VIP ticket in time (VIP tickets sold out in less than three minutes), this premium offering enhanced the overall attendee experience. The VIP experience underscored CANCON’s commitment to providing a top-tier experience for all guests, as well as providing an opportunity for vendors to showcase their products to their most passionate customers.

Educational Opportunities

CANCON Arizona 2024 emphasized education and skill development through a variety of interactive experiences. The Proving Grounds competition stage simulated real-world scenarios, such as mock kidnappings, providing participants with practical shooting challenges that tested their skills under pressure​​. Not only did participants have to escape the kidnapping situation, they then had to carry a simulated artillery round while engaging a variety of targets. Whoever could perform all of these tasks in the shortest amount of time was in the running for a free firearm.

A Proving Grounds participants sits with their head hooded before starting their three gun trial run.

Above: A Proving Grounds competition participant gives the thumbs up before starting the challenge.

Members of the University of Arizona’s shooting team, the Wild Gats, and other local groups participated in the event, fostering a sense of community and encouraging knowledge sharing among attendees. These educational opportunities were a key component of CANCON, helping to build a more informed and skilled firearms community​.

A University of Arizona Wild Gat member talks to the crowd.

Above: CANCON provided a great opportunity for UofA Wild Gat members to bump elbows with people from every corner of the firearms industry.

Local organizations, such as Boy Scout Troop 531, played a crucial role in supporting CANCON Arizona. The troop sold cold water to keep attendees hydrated in the Arizona heat, adding to the community spirit that CANCON aims to promote. Their involvement added a layer of community engagement to the event, highlighting the importance of local support and participation​​.

A Boy Scout from Arizona Troop 531 learns about firearm safety.

Above: All attendees from all walks of life learned about how to safely handle firearms from experts in the field.

Final Thoughts

CANCON Arizona 2024 was a resounding success, bringing together a diverse group of firearm enthusiasts, industry professionals, and community members for a weekend of innovation, competition, and education. Not only did the event showcase the latest in silencer technology, but it also provided a platform for meaningful interactions and skill development. The overarching theme of try-before-you-buy gave participants confidence in the gear they were interested in, and really helped the vendors and sponsors continue to build already well established credibility. As CANCON continues to grow, it promises to remain a must-attend event for anyone passionate about the world of suppressed firearms.

For more details and updates on future events, visit the official CANCON website and explore the comprehensive recaps and previews on RECOILweb.

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Editor’s Note: This article has been modified from its original print version for the web.


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