Apache Visits Shooters

Not something you normally see at the range.

This happened while my wife was visiting some co-workers in Salt Lake City. They took her and their kids to shoot some guns out in the desert. Just some shotguns and some pistols. They were visited by an Apache Helicopter. According to my wife, “you could see the gun under the nose waving at us”

Low flybys are one thing, but lingering and waving machine guns at people? Perhaps they were showing off.


In this video as the helicopter passes over the cars, you can see the gun move. But from my limited and non-existent experience with Apaches, the gun is tied to the movements of the pilot’s helmet and head.


Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • guest

    It’s the new militarised air police ready splatter you all across the desert with 30mm for “resisting arrest”

    • Guest

      police brutality is no laughing matter.
      i will admit that what you said got a chuckle from me though.

      • guest

        To lighten up the mood you may want to try the now-legendary “am I detained or am I free to go” or the slightely modified “DON’T THIRTY ME BRO!!”.

    • Ethan

      Its awful funny.. until it isn’t.

      • BillRind

        no its not funny one bit, and who ever this pilot was getting his bad instructions from needs to be brought before a senate hearing and threatened with jail time. who ever his superior is at the pentagon should lose his job and do jail time. this is very serious, who the hell do these assholes think the enemies are. or was it some foreigner piloting the chopper. are we reaching a point now that we all have to have stinger missiles in our homes because we dont know who is piloting these aircraft. this is the new Obama army and its time dismantle the entire thing he has built for evil.

        • dzac01

          Agreed, not funny at all, in fact i see it as disrespect and contempt.. Who knows who that ****head was, what was in his head, or his orders.. Personally i would have head for cover. beet feet.. toot freaking sweet.. Pointing a weapon, loaded or not is a crime, regardless of who you think you are! Think hard! with things being they way they are.. that cat may have been looking to draw fire.. IDK.. But we are not living in a time of “funny”… and when it comes to Military/Police and the public, for sure no joke…

        • Patrick R

          Your tin foil hat seems a bit tight.

    • BattleshipGrey

      My first though was wondering if this was the new version of “swatting”.

    • LCON
      • Boni Biggun

        ….”Don’t bother running, you’ll just die tired.”

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    I do not believe there is any reason that the gun would need to be moving. Unless they are flying through a war zone the gun would be locked down not slaved to the FLIR turret or helmet sights. The most common time that the gun would ever be fired using the helmet sight is if the gunner is busy using the FLIR to set up a Hellfire or rocket shot, the pilot will take control of the gun with his helmet in case a target pops up. The gunner can use the helmet sight for the gun as well, but it is nowhere near as accurate as the FLIR so it would most likely only ever be used for a snap shot.

    I live in the UK in a location where I get a lot of Apaches flying over civillian areas, and even if you can see the nose turret looking around (I imagine the gunner gets bored and snoops around), the gun is always locked forwards pointing slightly up. The only reason the gun would be moving on this is if the pilot/gunner wanted people to see it moving, for whatever reason.

    • J.T.

      Ya. They should have had the gun locked in place. My guess is they were on their way back to South Valley Regional Airport where they are based after live fire exercises at the nearby test range and forgot to lock it.

    • Patrick R

      Wow, that UK nanny state really has had an effect on you folks over the pond. Think of the horrors if the helicopter had air dropped some serrated pumpkin carving knifes and waved goodbye with it’s gun. Errmegad!

      • Madeleine Goddard

        Strangely, I always thought the first rule of weapons handling was to never point it at anyone unless you mean to use it. I don’t quite see how that fits the idea that the UK is a nanny state. I am not sure I would be happy to have a possibly loaded 30 mm chain gun pointed in my direction, even in fun.

        • Fred Johnson

          Exactly my thoughts. It’s still a gun pointed at you. Just because the aircraft has “US Army” on the side doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

          If that thing was loaded and ready to rock, it wouldn’t take much to have a negligent massacre.

          • Toot

            A gun not loaded is useless and it is the presumed unloaded weapon that kills.

      • Grindstone50k

        So you’re fine with me coming over to a range you’re at and pointing all my guns at you?

        • Patrick R

          As long as you are an Apache gunship.

          • Grindstone50k

            I know an Apache Indian. Would that suffice?

          • Patrick R

            As long as she is a sexy Indian. Otherwise, no.

    • Mic68

      Ok first off. The Helicopter is not armed. Secondly. the 30mm cannon is slaved to the either the pilots or co-pilot gunners helmet. It moves where he is looking. These guys are Utah Army Guard pilots, they were just giving a good show and most would think it was pretty cool to see it that close. But the tin foil is very think here.

  • gunslinger

    /puts on tinfoil hat
    i’m sure i’d be a bit scared if i’m out shooting, then boom i’m looking at the business end of that. especially w/o any warning
    /takes off tinfoil hat

    but it’d be cool to actually see one of those things fly

    edit: i did get to see a b2 bomber flyover when i was at Dayton’s AFB.

  • MattW

    How close to a military base or other “secure” area were they? There is a private outdoor gun club in NM adjacent to an airport and an Airforce base – it has been visited multiple times by over the years by MPs in jeeps etc… because people are being careless and pointing or shooting their rifles so that the rounds travel onto airport or Airforce property.

    • Nicholas Chen

      This wasnt a gun range. Just a random patch of deserted desert.

      • Patrick R

        That random patch of land is owned by someone, it may be part of their training area. The military regularly uses deserted areas for training.

        • MattW

          Exactly, that and there is plenty of open desert around SLC bumping up to or near military installations, Dugway Proving Grounds, Tooele Army Depot.

        • St Bernard

          Owned by the American taxpayer, probably.

          • mosinman

            although our government would disagree on that lol

        • Grindstone50k

          The military uses it’s own areas for training. The only non-DOD owned areas it makes sure it has clear approval from the owner and makes damn sure it’s clear of anyone, especially civilians.

          • Patrick R

            We used civilian owned land a few times for training when I served. I was not far enough up to totem pole to know if they had worked a deal with the owner. DOD land is not always marked as such, they very well could have been shooting on DOD land without knowledge of it.

    • DieHard-Hans

      Yeah Zia has had that problem quite a bit. Which is also why they locked it down hard. Members only, and last I heard, there was an approval process that was very aggressive.

      • MattW

        Yeah, that’s the club I was referring to. Orientation is pretty thorough and they have a pretty good “report misbehavior” culture because if it happens too much more I’m sure they’ve been threatened with shutting it down.

  • notlds

    SLC and the surrounding areas are all grown into one another. Hill AFB is in Provo. I live near a Naval Air Station ( not a typo). Fighter pilots love to show off. Low supersonic flybys have blown out Windows from time to time. I’m sure apache pilots are worse, considering (no offense) they’re army, and the exclusivity of being apache pilots.

    • Patrick R

      Just so you are aware, saying “no offense” won’t make an offensive remark non offensive. Dickhole (no offense).

    • anonymous

      > Low supersonic flybys have blown out Windows from time to time.

      That’s why I use Linux.

    • Nate

      Hill AFB is in Ogden, but you got within about 90 minutes of the right area, so you have that going for you, which is nice.

    • #datamine

      I live in Provo, AFB is north of SLC which is north of Provo.

    • Gern Blanston

      hill afb is actually an hour and half north from provo in clearfield/ogden area… not that it really matters I guess… strange incident though – the pilots arent stupid and they know what the people were doing and that their gun wasnt in a locked position… i dont like this at all…

  • james

    I’d be a little nervous at first but once I realized they were just having fun I’d try to see if they’d put rounds on my target hahaha. I think it would be pretty awesome to watch them shred something. Sometimes people forget that most of the military is comprised of college age kids that get bored.

    • ColaBox

      Apache 1-1 I need suppressive fire on that water bottle now!

    • Grindstone50k

      Apache pilots are not college age kids that get bored.

      • Patrick R

        So they must be robots.

      • Mic68

        No they just act like it…..lol

  • Zachary marrs

    I wouldn’t be mad

  • wildbillb

    yeah, that is the problem sharing a range with others… i’ve been flagged before too, but it wasn’t THAT bad 😉

  • Chance

    They’re just screwing around. Their optics can make out what people are doing from miles away, so there’s no need to get that close just to look at something.

    I grew up outside of Ft. Hood, Texas (a major Apache training center), and it was not unheard of for pilots to mess with people.

    • Boni Biggun

      (…So as to not be an apologist for that type of behavior) One could say that this event was either; more inception/conditioning, or simply really bad gun safety etiquette. This is all very straight forward. However, In the context of our present pre-Collapse, pre-War Situation/Scenario, this is just more S.N.A.F.U.-F.U.B.A.R..

  • mosinman

    i’m curious, why were they flying so low? the only times I’ve seen them they fly pretty high up.

  • Hjugyo

    didn’t policedepartments get alotta heat from recieving surplus military material? could they have gotten an Apache 😛

    • Sean

      No police department on Earth could afford the upkeep on Apaches.

    • claymore

      No………………… simple and no Tanks either

    • Hello no that would never happen. First they would ask for one and second the government wouldn’t allow it.

  • Alter Ego

    I’m surprised, usually I read posts dripping indignation and contempt when a shop clerk points a gun towards a potential customer, and nobody is minimally annoyed that a machine-gun was pointed towards civilians.
    Hell, I must be an Euro-communist because I don’t understand that that the pilots of the Apache would have completely understood if the public pointed their guns towards the chopper to courteously reciprocate the wave…

    • Agitator

      Are you implying that you’d “wave” a firearm at an attack helicopter?

      Well, good luck with that.

      • LoneWolf

        No, I believe Alter Ego was making the point – that if the tables had been turned, and the American family (women and children included), had pointed their firearms at the apache – it would have been dealt with in a manner far differently than a wave back. This was nothing more than an arm of the federal government terrorizing US citizens on US soil – happens every day in STASILAND USA.

        • Grindstone50k

          Yeah, muzzling people with a 30mm cannon is cool because MURICA

        • Mic68

          If you think they are flying around armed you have no idea what you are talking about.

          • Tothe

            Rule 1: Always treat every gun as if it is loaded.

          • Mic68

            This is as dangerous as strapping a unloaded rifle to the hood of your car and driving around, trying not to point it at people…..and OMG those fake hellfire missiles are pointing at people too.

  • ClintTorres

    Luckily, your friends & family didn’t appear to the Apache crew to be ISIS members doing a little desert training…

    • Nicholas Chen

      This was a couple years ago before all the ISIS malarkey.

  • Ewtahn

    It’s an Apache from the UTNG’s 211th out of Salt Lake Airport #2. Maybe they were out looking for the HotShots Calendar shoot.

  • woldwideREB

    they should of held up a sign inviting them to shoot at there targets LOL! would have made a more youtube worthy video 😀

  • jamezb

    the nose gun does indeed track with the movement of the gunner’s helmet

    – in other words, if he nods to the pilot and says
    “great day or a drive in the desert”
    “check out the legs on the blonde”
    “my neck itches”
    “no it’s not illegals”
    “those are not the droids we are looking for”
    “hello tiny ground people” etc,
    -the gun will nod right along with him.

    • Nicholas Chen

      LOL These are not the droids we are looking for.

    • Chris

      Since this is the “normal condition of the system in flight,” then I would humbly suggest that they not be allowed to confront civilians until war is openly declared on them.

      • Ben Mussolini

        Lighten up, Francis.

  • Don Prather

    Just as likely that the pilot was moving his head up and down in approval. My experience with military guys is that they are very alright with guns and gun people.

    I once lived in southern AZ and regularly got buzzed by A-10s out of Davis-Monthan. The pilots were cool and would give us a thumb’s up when we were out shooting in the scrub. They were so close that we could see their big smiles.

    • Jim FitzGerald

      The roar of an approaching A-10 is much, much more than “WAY TOO COOL” when you are sitting on a rice paddy dike and the line of trees less than a click away from you is full of… the enemy.

      It has taken many years for me to break my habit of calling them other things instead of “the enemy.”

  • avconsumer2

    Ugh. Awesome. Glad they’re on our side!

  • JV

    New Mexico? Probably just a drunk Apache. Nothing to see here!

  • ColaBox

    This reminds me of my last year of high school during a bomb threat, 2 Blackhawks flew very close over us, they had to be around 60 feet up. Everyone cheered.

  • Marcus Toroian

    Oh man. After “Holy #$&@#^$% that’s an Apache!”, all I can think about is how I’d have been making all sorts of wild hand gestures egging them on to open up on our targets with that 30mm(which I would bet that if loaded, was loaded with the blue-flavored training dildos with no kaboom juice inside).

    THAT damn near would have been a dream come true.

  • Mark

    Apache “VISITS” Shooters!
    About 20 years ago, while driving my truck down a dusty and remote farm road, I was “VISITED” by a pair of A-10s….at tree-top level….from behind….in the middle of Indiana! Scared the livin’ sh*t out of me. I’m pretty sure my “tank” was destroyed by the GAU-8s. Pretty funny, now that I think about it.

  • Guest


    If you ever come to the UK head for Salisbury Plain. The Appchies there often play hide and seek across the hills and often make pop up manoeuvres against the cars travelling along the roads. 99% of folk never know they may have been part of an army training exercise but then 99% of the folk who are paying attention don’t care too much and are more amused.

  • L O

    I think it’s optical targeting, the weapon automatically points where ever the gunner looks.

  • kp24

    Oh. For God sake…..get off the stupid pills….these pilots fly everywhere and use vehicles and buildings for simulations…..how do I know this? I work at Ft Rucker where they train the pilots…I see these helos daily…hell. 100ft from the public road. And they fly up to 50 miles north of the base over homes….stop you stupidity

  • Lex loathar

    Who even knows if those “pilots” were of American descent what with all the “training” the gubbermint is giving to foreign militaries?

  • TimeHasCome

    The Feds have pulled all the Apaches away from the Governors in the last 6 months

  • Jakob Stagg

    You have to agree that an Apache boring in on you is far more intimidating than a drone you can’t see.

  • Jack Bauer

    Just got to make sure it wasn’t a terrorist training camp.

  • Larry Dee

    There is SO much info missing from this…like is this near a military installation, are the car people on federal land. Remember we are at war and if these people are near a military installation then guess what, they are going to be “observed” as a possible threat. One more thing I never saw the gun point at the people and yes it follows the pilot’s sights in his helmet unless it is not activated which obviously it was which makes me think these guys were under observation as possible threats. When you see videos like this put yourself in the pilot’s seat and think about what you have to do.

    • Neither party was somewhere they shouldn’t have been. No laws broken only guard policy.
      No facial recognition or some plot to ID gun owners just bored pilots giving these guys a thrill.

  • mc

    They were taking your pictures , this is new protocol , facial recognition, identifying gun owners. Time is up patriots — blackbird grounded 32Afc12.

  • Patrick O McCoy

    Big let down. I was waiting for them to shoot up the gun range. Whats the point!

  • Arizona

    I’am proably wasting my breath here,BUT,your government HAS SOLD YOUR DUMB ASS OUT,and if you aren’t getting ready for war with the RUSSIANS and CHINESE “WHO ARE HERE IN FORCE” well you’ll be real surprised when they kick in your doors and murder your family,and trust me,your local police gang will be with them……IF your to scared to fight,WELL get close to the LORD,your going to be leaving this world soon…AND “DON’T” take the mark of the beast if your captured,it won’t save you,their going to kill you anyhow ,theres no point in going to hell too…………….

  • GoneWithTheWind

    Where was it exactly??? There are a lot of places out there that are off limits and you aren’t supposed to be there.

  • BillRind

    who ever the pilot was flying this machine and who ever sent him should be brought before a senate hearing on what he just did. Looks like the piece of crap was taking pictures of the faces below for facial recognition, the pilot must be brought before a hearing and fired and should go to jail or his superiors. either or makes no difference to me at this point in time, some one needs to go to jail in the pentagon.

    • Ben Mussolini

      Shiny side of the tinfoil is supposed to face out, Bill.

  • dina

    well…… we know this ain’t hOLlywood but flyin at such an extremely low altitude ain’t too bright either as it is now within range….

  • MountainKelly

    Some asshat was spot lighting chinooks North of Reno a few months ago. The chinooks light is bright. Also, spotlighting an aircraft is a crime. Bah.

    also, neat.

  • Carolyn

    this is Carolyns husband again. he was just saying those arent guns, this is a gun. the pilot was just goofing off . while driving in rural nevada. i had two A-10 warthogs use me as target practice. they came out of a small valley flying real low and made a strafing run on my semi truck. scared hell out of me for a second then was funny. i wasnt mad i figured as long as they just pretend to shoot and it went along way to keep me alert and awake lol

  • Jim H

    The gunner can slave the M230 chain gun to his helmet. Thus the weapon points toward whatever he is looking at. They didn’t say where they were but if they were west of Tooele then they may have been uncomfortably close to either Tooele Chemical Disposal Facility or ,more likely, Dugway Proving Grounds. Note: Dugway won’t play nice if you encroach on their AO.

  • LoneWolf

    These choppers most likely belong to the BLM or dhSTASI. Nothing more than enemies of We, the People and our Constitutional Republic – which they demonstrate on a daily basis – have the utmost disdain for our freedoms and liberties, and especially the rights granted us by our Creator… Harassment and bullying by a bunch of cowardly thugs and traitors hell bent on terrorizing men, women and children – (their fellow citizens) at all cost.

    • Getting a bit carried away aren’t you. The people who filmed this actually enjoyed the experience and thought it was great fun.
      There’s really nothing evil or diabolical in this. Bored pilots on a training mission nothing more.

    • Ben Mussolini

      When you opened the bottle of “Crazy Paranoid” this morning, you threw away the cork……

  • European American

    The should have tested out the armor. I would suspect the gun on board wasn’t hot. It would have made a great video.

  • John Cheek

    video is marked private and can not be viewed

  • RockyMtSpirit

    Yep, this story makes me ask one, simple question…WTF?
    Ok, some people went shooting out in the desert, this isn’t what most would consider a “shooting range”, but rather a place out in the desert where you want to shoot some targets.
    Ok, so you are out in the desert with friends/family shooting your legally owned firearms, and suddenly, an Apache attack helicopter appears!
    Are you out shooting in a military restrictive zone, or even a bombing range?
    Was the helicopter having problems and off course?

    Was this a helicopter doing a random fly-over, who happened to see some Americans shooting their firearms, and thought they’d “salute” you by “waving” their ocular controlled 30mm Gatling gun?
    If any “ill-intent” were meant, there would have been a “federal raid” soon after. Was there?
    The Apache pilots were “saluting you” and nothing else……….take it as an “honor”!

  • valorius

    Videos are private.

  • Dan

    Who is Blocking the video….

  • Jay

    Okay. I’ll explain this to you people. In an Apache, the gun AUTOMATICALLY points at whatever the pilot looks at using the helmet mounted HUD. You’re welcome.

  • thebronze

    Posting videos that are private? Awesome.

  • uisconfruzed

    Both videos “This video is private” and a black screen, makes for a boring story.
    Did you or the feds lock them down?

  • jeffrey melton

    did someone pull the video’s? they are marked private now and are not viewable.

  • Jamie Clemons

    The video is unavailable labeled private.

  • Jamie Clemons

    Obama preparing for the live fire gun grab.

  • the videos owner blocked them after we posted them and started getting a lot of hits.
    Another reason could be the Army is trying to ID the pilots.

  • NeoBlackdog

    I had this happen once while fishing on the Snake River a ways north of Farewell Bend. We were anchored up in a little cove and could hear the chopper coming down the river. When they appeared the bird swiveled towards us slightly and the nose turret gun swiveled our way. We all threw our hands up in the air in surrender and the pilot wobbled the helicopter a bit in acknowledgement and then flew off. It was pretty cool!