Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot Fall 2016

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No matter how diverse and separated the firearms community is from muzzle loading to action 3 Gun, NFA to concealed carry, I think one thing that every single one of us can agree on is that happiness is a belt fed machine gun. This year at Knob Creek, it was hard to conceal the enthusiasm that filled the range and gun show, with crowds not becoming smaller and smaller every year, but instead just growing and growing. I went to the show on Saturday, and would personally advise anyone planning on attending, if you can only make one day, or even a couple of hours, make it Saturday evening. I’ve noticed that on Friday, the show is really just starting, warming up, similarly with Sunday being the opposite, everyone is starting to break down, and the crowds are moving towards going back to work on Monday. But Saturday is certainly the most packed day of events, especially with the crowning night shoot (there were two this year).

If you really want a good vantage point, the stands or right next to the firing line fence is the best place to go. However, you’ll probably have to post up at least ten to twenty minutes prior to a round of shooting because these spots fill up very quickly.

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I might be mistaken, but it looked like there were less belt feds on the line than magazine fed machine guns. I seem to think in previous years the line was much more packed with belt feds galore.DSC03205 DSC03215 DSC03216 DSC03217 DSC03218

Down at the rental range, two new shooters were introduced to machine guns the best way possible, through shooting them! The guy on the M240B had his first time ever handling a firearm with a belt fed. The girl on the Thompson had some experience beforehand with handguns and semiautomatic rifles, but nothing like a fully automatic NFA Class III item. Rental prices had risen from previous years, with pretty much nothing under $40 at the booth. In addition I think there are less rental services, beforehand I seem to remember at least three or four rental stations, but this year there was only the one, and the private range where you could bring a personal firearm to shoot.

 

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The Jungle Walk Uzi stand is still alive and thriving. This year they could only take 60 pre signed up slots throughout the day. You had to sign up in the morning which was somewhat of a nuisance, but it was a on first come first serve basis. In all actuality it is a better deal than renting a magazine at the rental front next door. It is $40 for a 30 round magazine, while $40 gets you two 30 round magazines on the Jungle Walk.DSC03230 DSC03231 DSC03233

The Vietnam era Huey was in the air, wherein if you paid around $150 you became a member of a Huey helicopter association, in addition to the ride. One year I remember the helicopter had a mounted M60 with spade grips, flew over the firing line, and unloaded at the targets downrange.

Subgun matches were being held in their traditional spot, in between the main line, and the rental ranges on the forest walkway. There are numerous competitions going on at Knob Creek, but I wasn’t able to observe them. During the subgun matches that I did observe, the competitors were having some really rough times with malfunctions while competing.

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The guy behind the counter with the green cut off shirt is Kenny Sumners, the owner of the range. His father started the shoot back in the 1980s as an informal family and friends get together and it has grown ever since. Kenny is usually found behind the counter, helping customers, pretty informal and interesting gentleman.DSC03248

Chopped up A1 and A2 receivers for collector value. DSC03266 DSC03274

In addition to the shoot and competitions, a large number of people come for the gun show, which mainly consists of machine gun and machine gun parts dealers, AR sellers, and militra/surplus gear.DSC03276 DSC03278 DSC03279 DSC03387 DSC03388 DSC03395 DSC03396 DSC03397 DSC03403

This year there were two night shoots, although I might be not remembering correctly and there might have only been two night shoots every time I’ve been to Knob Creek. Anyways, the first Night Shoot didn’t seem as planned as the second one, the ROs left the firing line lights on and called a verbal command to commence fire. In the past, the command to commence fire was the physical turning off of the lights on the line, just igniting the entire night with balls of fire, and tracers of every describable color and streak. This was the case on the second Night Shoot and it turned out to be Knob Creek in all its downrange glory.

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Some of the machine guns were glowing red hot at night. DSC03584 DSC03588 DSC03616 DSC03671 DSC03698 DSC03762

The ROs turned the lights on after maybe ten minutes of firing without them off. All the orange shirts in the picture are Knob Creek ROs. The range hires upwards of 300 extra people to work during the MG shoot.DSC03876 DSC03891

After the last cease fire is called, the main line exhibitors and deals begin the long process of packing up for the night. Most of them leave their equipment on the line, covered up, while range security patrols the line during the night.DSC03902

There were a number of M249 SAWs this year that I hadn’t noticed in previous years.DSC03908 DSC03914 DSC03915 DSC03917 DSC03922



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Get.
    Some.

  • Gambler X

    I havent been since they tried to blow up the stuntman and showered everyone with shrapnel.

    But still, camping there for the whole weekend was tremendous fun. All of it, the cookouts, the late night soggy sandwiches and beer after the night shoots. Campfires and passing around the bottle with the orange shirts.

    I got drunk asf one night really bad and needed a nap the next day so i went back to the RV and just as Im laying my head down the range went hot. Oddly the most pleasant nap Ive ever had.

  • Z

    Look at that sea of diversity.
    /s

  • Andy B

    My buddy was a gunner on one of the chopper flights a few years back. Nothing like shooting from an aerial platform. I have pictures of them after the flight somewhere.

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    Living the dream.

  • jamezb

    Kudos to the guy shooting an AM-180 at the night shoot!
    (13th pic up from bottom)

  • jamezb

    the roar of that mini-gun.. dayum!

    • Miguel Raton

      BULL
      et
      HOSE!

      [Which is, I believe, the literal translation of the Swedish “kulsprutegevar.”] 😉

  • Martin Grønsdal

    lady with the Thompson 😉 for not knowing which hand goes where, she took the recoil pretty good!

  • Phillip Cooper

    Yawn.
    This is why you can’t give rednecks money.

  • Joshua

    this is why Admiral Yamamoto said you cannot invade the United States

    • Miguel Raton

      Not even. Especially back in ’41, when most people in the U.S. were still in recovery from the Great Depression and MGs were much thinner on the ground. But every 3rd boy over 10 had his own .22, and 3 out of 5 grown men had a deer rifle of some sort or other. Japan never had a big enough population to even contemplate invading the CONUS. Their biggest mistake after even contemplating Pearl Harbor was deciding to just attack it w/o following up & taking Hawaii, leaving the U.S. w/o a Pacific base of operations entirely… Instead, they invaded the *Philippines*. 7000 islands, instead of just 5. What a buncha numbskulls…

  • Miguel Raton

    With ammo prices having doubled & tripled in recent years, I imagine just the simple fact of having to change mags helps keep the shooting costs down vs. bringing the belt-fed…