It may seem surprising for a neon-lit city sequestered in the middle of the Nevada desert, but Las Vegas is one of America’s premier destinations for military enthusiasts and gun lovers. It offers simulations of the military experience with an intensity found nowhere else: you can partake in an aerial dog fight among the clouds, or crawl with your gun around a 200-acre desert training facility. There is also a great concentration of gun shops and shooting ranges.
America’s gun experts congregate in the city every January, when the annual Shot Show takes place in Vegas. This is one of the world’s largest trade shows for professionals involved in hunting, shooting sports and law enforcement, and is a good time to visit if you like a little guns with your gambling.
Have you ever watched Top Gun and secretly longed for the thrill of air-to-air combat? And, be honest, who hasn’t? Well, in Las Vegas you can have the next best thing at Sky Combat Ace (SCA), one of the few civilian aerial dogfight training schools in the world. Travelers are paired with real air force pilots and fly above the beautiful Nevada mountains – with the option of experiencing 5G thrills.
Battlefield Vegas offers a truly intense and realistic military experience. It has firearms dating from WWI through to the modern day. There are 25 military vehicles and aircraft including a Huey helicopter that was flown in Vietnam. There is a 200+ acre desert training facility, and a state-of-the-art indoor firing range. And the majority of the staff are ex-veterans, which means you might be guided by someone with real-life combat experience.
American Shooters, a gun store and shooting range run by veterans, has thousands of firearms as well as accessories and a uniform supply store. It is a venue with recognized expertise, and supplies the police and army with equipment. Visitors can buy firearms, chat with the passionate and expert salespeople, and also have a go with with the merchandise at the store’s indoor firing range.
Leaving behind guns and moving onto a more recent development in weaponry, the National Atomic Testing Museum offers a thoughtful perspective on modern warfare. Its collection includes a wide variety of materials and artifacts exploring the development of nuclear weapons through atomic testing. It also has exhibits on the Cold War and on the continuing evolution of nuclear and radiological science and technology. There is a particular local focus on the Nevada Test Site, which was the U.S.’s principle atomic testing site between the ‘50s and ‘90s.
The Gun Store is well known among the American gun community, but it also caters faithfully to the many tourists from around the world whose curiosity draws them to see America’s famous love of guns in action. There is a large store with a mighty array of firearms, and a shooting range where you can buy packages of different types of gun so you can try a range of firing experiences.