Heresy. BURN HIM!
I can feel the hate coming from each one of you right now, but hear me out.
I think I have a pretty good reason for making the statement that machine guns are highly overrated for recreational shooting. In a military, police, or even self-defense situation; there is still a very real need for a machine gun, but at the range when you are having fun or building skill? I will pass thanks.
How can a passionate shooter like myself go from jumping at the chance to shoot anything full auto to no longer seeking the opportunity out? It turns out it isn’t too hard.
In the early days of TFBTV, Alex C. and I would shoot 2 or 3 times a week to film an episode or test products. During that couple of months, we shot very few semi-auto firearms, almost every one of them was select fire with a handful of exceptions. We wanted to cover as many machine guns as we could early on as we felt that the videos would do well and Alex was planning on closing his firearms business down necessitating the sale of most of the NFA firearms in his collection.
Sure, shooting a machine gun a lot is tons of fun, but the downside is the cost to become proficient with a select fire gun. Both Alex and I had amassed an ammo bill that was nothing short of staggering. Hell, I am still hiding how much I spent on gun food from my wife.
I just don’t seem to jump at the chance to shoot a select fire gun like I once did. I am not saying I don’t like shooting them, just that they aren’t as exciting as they once were. I guess over exposure can have that effect on people. So how does machine guns no longer being as much fun for me to shoot translate into being overrated?
It seems that shooters who haven’t been fortunate enough to spend a bunch of time on a select fire gun place the experience on a pedestal, building the experience up in their mind as the holy grail of shooting. The truth is, while fun, there are several shooting activities that can be much more rewarding and enjoyable. Shooting under a timer, even if it is an informal range day, can be quite a lot of fun as well as skill building. Shooting long range is another one of those activities that I personally find to be more rewarding than ripping through a thirty caliber clip in half a second, even if the shoulder thing does go up. I find that when shooting with friends, we almost always have more fun challenging ourselves rather than hanging onto a rifle that turns dollars into noise faster than you realize.
To further put me off the machine gun fan wagon is the cost of entry. Entry level Mac-10s top $7,000 last time I looked and a transferable M-16 hovers around the $20 – $25 thousand dollar range. I think I would rather buy a new truck, spend the money on several firearms and ammo, or stuff it into a savings account for my son’s college fund. The price of a transferable machine gun is just too damned high.
What it boils down to in my mind is that shooting a machine gun is the gun nut equivialant of getting a model into bed. They are expensive, loud, the experiance is over far too quick, and leaves you wanting more. Go with the down to earth girl that won’t drain your bank account with expensive dinners and shopping trips; life will be much more rewarding.
If you still want to light the torches and chase me with pitchforks, now is the time to do so.