Monday, August 16, 2010
One of the best things about this week was getting to meet new folks, not only from around the local area, but from literally around the world. France, Germany, England, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other countries I wasn't able to personally verify. For those folks, if they weren't in the military in their respective home countries, this was the first and possibly only time they will ever get to fire a gun of any kind, let alone the fully automatic ones we had. For those folks who I had the privilege of helping out, I hope I left them with a positive image of American gun ownership and safety.
There were also several times over the course of the week where I had the opportunity to give an American their first taste of firing a gun. Some went big and tried the .50 sniper rifle, while others went with something that didn't require a lot, like the M1919 Browning machine gun. A smile and a helping hand in picking out a gun for them to shoot, coupled with the smile on their face that one shooter said "you couldn't knock off their face with a ball bat" made it all worth while.
Of course I would be remiss if I didn't thank the guys who made this all possible, the fine folks from Guns of Freedom. While it was nice to get paid, what I did this last week wasn't about money. It was about having fun, helping people out, and meeting new folks. Money was secondary in everything. Don't get me wrong, money's nice, but the reasons why I did it are more important. From helping the guys out with getting Gatorade when it was nasty hot, to getting buckets to put the brass in when it was clear we were running out of room, to getting more spray oil for the guns when it was obvious we were running out quickly, it wasn't about money. I was just happy to help out.
Of course, it wouldn't be Sturgis if you didn't run into a celebrity once in a while. And I ran into some really nice guys. Brett Michaels and Rupert from Survivor are two of the nicest guys I've ever met. I hope to run into them again in the future.
Well, there you have it. I can't wait for next year.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Worked about 4 hrs today, and I felt bad about leaving early. I mean, I did help make some of the mess that the crew had to clean up. But Mrs Hazmat wanted to go out to dinner tonight, and since she's been so understanding with this whole Machine Gun Shoot thing, and not getting upset with the hours I've been working, she deserved a good dinner at the Olive Garden.
So lets talk about today's festivities. As with the rest of the week, Eugene Stoner, John Thompson, and Mikhail Kalashnikov were well represented, with Uziel Gal getting to the Top 4. Had a group of Aussies show up this morning and they were a hoot. All of them were great sports in spite of the 65 degree weather and the chilly 30 mph cross wind.
Had our last obligatory celebrity sighting, as Rupert from Survivor, as well as the Big Boss (Ron Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip Campground and Shooting Complex) came by this afternoon to do a little shooting. That was about the time I had to get going for home. I wish I could've stayed to watch and talk some more with Rupert. He's one of the genuinely nicest guys I've had the opportunity to meet. Got a picture with him, but as with the others, in the interests of privacy (his and mine) I won't be posting it here.
The cool thing was, we had just enough ammunition to finish out the week. When I left, the Big Boss was putting the last 20 rds through the M-2 HB. There was only about 200 rds of 8mm left for the Kitty Kat, and we had to load 7 more mags for the Uzis. Had plenty of mags for the AKs and there were 4 mags left for the Thompsons.
All in all, I think this year was a smashing success. Stay tuned, as tomorrow as I'll wrap up the week with a little AAR and my thoughts.
Again, the most popular guys on the line were John Thompson, Eugene Stoner, Mikhail Kalashnikov, and John Moses Browning (peace be upon him!). But we also had another addition to the popularity chart, Uziel Gal. There were a lot of folks who wanted to shoot his little creation.
Anyway, here's some pics of how much brass we went through. These are only 3 of the 9 buckets we filled this week, and we've still got one more day left.
So, to complete today's post, here's some video of some of the festivities that took place. First up is the bowling ball cannon:
Well, that's it for now. I hope to have more and a wrap up/AAR posted by Sunday.
Friday, August 13, 2010
So far, General John Thompson, John Moses Browning (peace be upon him!), Eugene Stoner, and Mikhail Kalashnikov have been the 4 most popular guys on the line. You guessed it, the Thompson machine gun (between the 1927A1 and M1), both the M1919 and M2, the M16, and the AK-47 have been the most popular on the line this year. Oh, there's been a few shoot the MP-5s, and Hiram Maxim's 1910 Russian model has had it's share of business, but compared to the other 4, they've done next to nothing.
Had our second obligatory celebrity sighting about 30 minutes after I got on the line as Jackyll and the crew from TruTV made their appearance. This on the heels of Wednesday's arrival of Brett Michaels and the VH1 crew.
As far as international support, we've had Danes, Dutch, Germans, and had all the major players of the former British Empire come through. Aussies, Kiwi's, Canadians, and we had our first two Brits yesterday. What's great about having those folks come through is this is probably the only time in their lives they'll be able to shoot something like this. As one shooter put it yesterday, when you're done shooting, they won't be able to knock the grin on your face off with a baseball bat. I can attest to this fact. I've found that the longer the trigger is held down, the bigger the smile at the end.
This year has been so much better than the last couple of years where there was a) not enough people showing up, or b) Mother Nature had other plans. The Boss has been concerned about making enough money to cover expenses this year, but based on the numbers of folks we've been seeing, I don't think he's gonna have to worry about that.
To give you an idea of how much we've been shooting this week, we've filled 6 5-gallon buckets with brass. That's not including the steel and aluminum cased stuff we've been throwing back. We couldn't even clean up the line yesterday because we had no place to put the brass.
So hopefully today I'll be able to get some pics of the festivities and get them up for y'all.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Also had our first obligatory celebrity sighting. Brett Michaels showed up to shoot, and was probably the most personable celebrity I've met. I got a picture with him, but in the interest of privacy, I'll be holding onto that one.
Anyway, here's a few pics of the line during a small break in the action.
Oddly enough, the most popular weapon on the line was Ma-Duece. One lady put 60 rds through her at a cost of $60 per 10.
The next most popular was 'Kitty Kat". An M1919 in 8mm with a chopped barrel. As you can see, picking up the brass at the end of the day was a little easier than the other weapons on the line.
A look down the line. Just as I was getting ready to start cleaning up, here came the entourage.
This is where we've shooting the sub-guns and assault rifles. This way other shooters on the line don't get showered in spent cases. BTW, when we were able to clean up, I filled that bucket a third of way up with the brass in this picture. That's not including the steel cased stuff that was thrown out front of the line.
So, as you can see, we've been busy the last couple of days. Today shouldn't be much different. If I can, I'll post the pics from today's shooting tonite. But if not, I'll be sure to have them up tomorrow morning. See you then!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Not much to report on Day 2, it was pretty busy when I arrived, and didn't let up until some weather moved in around 3. Once the weather moved off, it was right back at it until Mother Nature shut us down at dark.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Got there a Little after noon, and things were at a standstill. Seems the guy who owns the land behind the Shoot site, put a guy up in a camper at the top of the hill over looking the range, about 700 yds from our firing line.
So the owner of the range decided that baffles had to be installed post-haste in an attempt to keep the boowits from hitting this pwecious wittwe camper.
(Only one guy put any holes in the new baffle we installed, and he put two in it. The bonus is, he's a cop. Go figure, eh?)
After a 3 hour delay getting that set up, we were off and running. Had around, I dunno, about 30 or 40 come through in the next 5 hrs. Not bad.
The most popular weapon today had to be the .50 BMG rifle. Next on the list was the M1919 in 8mm.
If you look in the top portion of the pic, you can see the new baffle we installed. This was before the UMP .45 and 1927A1 each put holes in it.
Well, that's it for today, I'll try to put more up tomorrow with a report on how things went.
Friday, August 6, 2010
"What kind of impression do you think the current administration has made so far?"
What immediately went through my mind was "A divot in the forehead made by the ball end of a 2 lb ball-peen hammer."