Saturday, May 28, 2011

On The Range #49: Lucky Gunner Blogger Shoot 2011 (Day 1)

Today started off with breakfast provided by Lucky Gunner.  I sat around and talked to a few of the bloggers while we ate and waited to head out to the range.

The first day of the blogger shoot consisted of getting us into a private machine gun shoot/reenactment called Bullet Fest.  The reenactors ranged from Civil War artillerymen (with artillery!) to the WWII era Item Company/501 Parachute Infantry Regiment/101st Airborne Division (Recreated) and the LAH 1st SS Panzer Division (Recreated).

On the far left of the firing line was the Civil War artillery.  You not only here these pieces being fired, you feel them.  Most of the bloggers set up next to the artillery, and by the end of the day cannon fire that had me jumping out of my shoes just faded into the general background racket.

It is impossible for me to describe the noise of cannons, MG-42s, the Ma Duece (which sadly I did not get to shoot), the 1919 Browning Machine Gun, and a variety of other full auto military small arms going off all day long.  What I can tell you is that it was wonderful, beautiful music.

The first few guns I shot today were not, in fact, full autos, but they were guns I had never handled before.  The very first was the venerable M1 Carbine, courtesy of Tom from MyGunCulture.  Shooting the Carbine is great fun.  It's like shooting a 10/22 that flings .30 slugs around.  I'd really like to pick up one of these sweet little guns.   

Tom  is a great gentleman and insisted that I shoot both the Carbine and his M1 Garand when I told him that I'd never had the opportunity to shoot either.  I really enjoyed both.  The Garand has a surprisingly mild recoil, especially considering that it is chambered in God's Own Caliber*.  I will most definitely have to get my hands on one from the CMP ASAP.

After playing around with the Carbine and Garand (which I managed to do without getting bit!) I decided I wanted to put some rounds through my 1911.  I found it to function perfectly except when I used one of my friend Logan's factory SA mags.  I had two stove pipes with this particular magazine in 200 rounds of shooting.  I sat it aside and had almost no problems in the next hundred rounds (had a couple of FTFs but I think both were a result of worn out mags and a very dirty gun).

Tom and I made our way separately down to the full auto stuff.  The first full auto gun I shot today was the M16.  I found it to be very controllable once I got a feel for what it does.  The second time I shot it later in the day I was able to do a full mag dump and keep my rounds on the same target (although it was a pretty large target).  Shooting this gun was just too cool. 

Next up I shot a S&W M-76.  The M-76 is nothing but a very nice clone of the Swedish K.  It was manufactured during the Vietnam War in order to meet a military demand after the Swedish government, which opposed the war, blocked its import to the US.

The recoil of the M-76 is reminiscent of shooting a paintball gun.  The recoil is almost non-existent and it is easily controllable.  But boy does that magazine go fast.  These guns are a lot of fun, and I would love to have one.

After the M-76 I got in line to shoot the BAR.  I had to wait through a ceasefire before I got to the end of the line, but it was worth it.  I could have happily shot this gun all day.  It was heavy (around 22 pounds), and I shot it standing rather than using the bi-pod, but all that weight makes it an easily controllable rifle as you rain .30-06 downrange.   I would have hated to carry it around a battlefield, but then again I wouldn't mind having one if I had to be in the middle of a battle.

The last full auto I shot today was the HK G3.  I hated it.  It was too damned light and the stock was too short.  It was uncomfortable as hell to shoot and the recoil was absolute murder.  It was the only gun that almost got away from me, and the only one I DID NOT enjoy shooting.  I'd take a BAR over it any day of the week.

Today was the most fun I've had in a long time.  I got to shoot guns all day for free.  When I needed ammo Lucky Gunner Ammo Girls were at the firing line with a menu for me to select off of, and they would quickly bring back whatever I ordered.  Those girls worked their butts off and made an already wonderful experience even better.  I think one of my favorite parts of the shoot came at the end of the day when the ammo girls were taking their turns shooting the full auto guns.  The smiles and excited laughs were a thing to behold. 

Oh, did I mention I got to do all this for free?  Thanks again to all the people at Lucky Gunner, and especially the beautiful Angela DeGloma, for putting this whole thing together.  Hold it again next year I will be there!



My Gun Culture said...

I guess I have to apologize for costing you about $1,500 or so...

The M1 twins (carbine and Garand) are my two favorite long guns without a doubt. Just plain fun to shoot and incredible history behind them. How appropriate for you to shoot them on Memorial day weekend! Run, don't walk, to the CMP and pick up some goodies :-)

Great meeting you!

RobertM said...

The money spent will be well worth it! And thanks again for letting me shoot them. Hopefully we'll meet again at another event and I'll have my own to show off.