This past weekend was the first ever Stone Mountain Machine Gun shoot. It is run by Shooter’s Gauntlet. It was held in North Eastern Pennsylvania in Monroeton. It was a 4.5 hour drive from Pittsburgh. I had heard about this event from 2nd Amendment Lawyer Joshua Prince back at the Great American Outdoor Show last February.
I was intrigued by the events they were running. Obviously by the name, they had machine guns. I was more interested in the other events.
They have a Zipline that you ride and shoot steel targets.
There is an 1100 yard range, assault hike, and an inversion table.
Along with those they have a range setup for suppressors which was stationed next to the vendor area.
Here are some photos by my friend James Ramp of Osprey Aerial.
One of the vendors brought out this amphibious tank.
Now for some video.
Slow motion of USA Chemical Supply targets on the Machine Gun line.
Here is 600lbs being shot at.
Just like Big 3 East, they blew up a car. But stepped it up by driving a tank over the carcass of the car.
J.W. Ramp made a 360 degree video at the machine gun range. Play it and you can pan the camera angle all around to your heart’s content.
Here is my video of the zipline, assault hike, inversion table and playing with Alpha Dog suppressors.
The Zipline was a lot of fun. However it was all the way at the top of the mountain and required being shuttled up there and back along a very precarious dirt trail in a crew cab Harley Davidson Ford pickup. Before actually shooting this event, I thought shooting a hand gun on a zipline would be easy. Not at all. Part of the problem is the superman prone position that you are placed in. It was a lot more difficult to get my gun up and see my sights than I had thought. It sounds easy in your head. The apron like harness has large shoulder pads and further restricts your arms. The other problem was that the harness has a tendency to rotate as you are sliding down the zipline. They need to look at other harness pulley systems. I went on a zipline in West Virginia and their harness system placed you in a seated position. No possibility of rotating and would be easier to aim a firearm. We did get to go twice on the zipline. It was short but a lot of fun. I wish i had a bright green laser. It would have been easier to aim than using a red dot in this situation.
The entire event was held in the Stone Mountains which is a steep valley. Due to the past week’s rain, the entire location was covered in mud. It would have been nice if the organizers had sent out an email about the mud to the people who registered so that they could plan accordinly. That would have altered my choice of car to drive out there and I would have planned different shoes and brought boots instead. This was very prevalent in the assault hike. The concept was great. Auto Targets brought out 10 of their targets. The course was setup so that only the first target is standing up. You must get two hits on the white for the target to be neutralized fall down. Once neutralized, the next target will pop up. You continue doing this until you reach the last target. The problem is you are hiking up a steep mud covered trail. It made it more difficult and tiring.
For those not familiar with Auto Targets check out the article by Tom R. The targets worked great. My friend Tom McDevitt and I decided to challenge each other and asked Brian Auld, inventor and founder of Auto Targets, to set the targets to center mass only. You can program the system to be head shots only if you are feeling overly confident. Considering the furthest shot was 75 yards off hand, and Tom only had his JP Enterprises 9mm rifle, we left it at just center mass only. I used the X95 from IWI and a Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6X scope.
The inversion table was originally supposed to be two shooters, side by side. There were two plate racks with decreasing size steel plates behind one another. Due to the gears of the table having some issues with two larger adult shooters, they decided to just have one shooter go at a time. Shooting upside down is not so bad. The problem was in the design of the inversion table. There is a bar and you wear padded cuffs on your ankles. The cuffs have hooks to grab onto the bar. However the cuffs are not holding your weight. There is an airplane seat belt bolted to the table and that is what carries your weight. Having all of your weight held by just a seat belt is not remotely pleasant. It concentrated all the force on my groin. It was borderline painful.
The event has room to grow. The activities did not have any signage nor did any other event. The machine gun range was a bit of a walk from registration. The vendors was a short uphill walk from registration but the zipline, inversion and 1100 yard range required a staff member chauffeuring you up the mountain. The staff were not very organized. Events interfered with each other and ran over time. Specifically the 1100 yard range cannot be opened until the zipline is closed down. Aside from those issues, the range officers did a great job and worked their butts off.
At the vendors area, it was a mix of accessory vendors and suppressor manufacturers. I was excited to try out the railed Alpha Dog silencer. I had posted about it after seeing Joshua Prince post up that they would be at this event.
This lubricant is specifically designed to wet their suppressors without causing any harm to the can.
I was having some malfunctions in my gamer Glock. Stove pipes upon stove pipes. However I believe that is partially due to the design of the Hilux optic on the ALG mount. When shooting unsuppressed it works fine. But on some suppressors, I experience what you saw in the video above. I believe the brass is hitting the rear optic shroud and falling back into the chamber. Running a standard Glock 17 with the Alpha Dog suppressor ran just fine.
The trip out there was a long 4.5 hour drive across Pennsylvania. It was worth it to me for the zipline. While the mud was out of Shooters Gauntlet’s control, it did sour the experience for many. I met some people who drove from NY, Connecticut and Virginia just to be there. Hopefully Shooters Gauntlet will improve for next year. Talking to some of the staff range officers, they were taking notes of how to make the event better.