Monday, August 15, 2011

2011 Buffalo Chip Machine Gun Shoot Roundup

Sorry for not posting daily-ish updates on the shoot, we were busier than the proverbial one-legged man in an ass kicking contest. I split my time between home and the shoot site, coming home every other night to at least see my smiling bride, kiss the chirrens, and get a hot soothing shower.

Days started, whether I drove from here or camped there between 06 and 0800 each morning. When I was home, it was feeding the chirrens and playing with them a little before hitting the road for the 33 mile, hour to hour and a half journey to the shoot site. When I was out there, it started around 0800 with dragging my butt out of the tent to grab something cold to drink (no it wasn't beer, that was the night before manning the booth inside the campground), taking a shower in a can (baby wipes work great for a shower on the go) and then it was off to do range maintenance, untarp the guns, swab barrels, load magazines and otherwise get ready for the inevitable rush that came when we dropped the line at 1000.

Invariably, there would be folks wanting to shoot at 0800, but when you have a booth inside the Buffalo Chip, there's no getting to bed earlier than midnight at the earliest, or in the case of some of our younger help, daylight at the latest. There was absolutely no way we could get anybody rousted that early.

So at 1000, the line came down and shooting started. I don't know why it worked out this way, but we always had someone who wanted to shoot an exploding target right away. It kind of got to be a joke that we woke the Chip up every morning with a bang and a boom. There's something about a 2.5 lb Star Target being shot by a 700-grain API round fired from a Barrett M82A1 that really gets the blood pumping.

With that said, the most popular weapons this year were both new additions to the lineup. The Barrett (mentioneed above) ran like a champ. The only issues we had with it were ammo related. Stuck cases are the bane of every gun, and ours were no different. The Little Fitty ran. And ran. And ran. I can tell you that at a conservative estimate that gun went off somewhere north of 70 times a day. Usually 2 rounds per customer, sometimes 4, but only twice did someone load all 10 rounds in the magazine and have a go. The last guy fired it like a semi AK clone and ran 10 though it in about 30 seconds. His 10 shots were kind of a waste if you ask me. The rifle is designed for precision work at very long distances, and to use it as a common plinker was kind of an insult. Everyone else who fired it, and I mean everyone, took their time and made their shots count (not that there was much to shoot at by the end of the week, mind you). Oh well, he paid for the ammo, and we did tell everyone they could shoot as fast or as slow as they wanted, but still you know?

The other most popular gun was the M60E3. From opening day until it finally went down Saturday afternoon, more rounds were fired from that gun than any other all week long. Everyone from Vietnam vets to urban mall ninja types and folks who had never even seen one ran 50 rounds at a time through it. I guess it was the allure of being able to fire her from either the bench on the bi pod or from the shoulder with the front grip that made her so popular. Or it could have been letting 550 RPM down range, it's hard to tell. It was kind of interesting watching a lady who's only experience with guns came from time with us over 2 days firing the '60 from the shoulder. (I think her husband/boyfriend/sugardaddy had a good time that night.)

Of course who could discount the Queen of the Ball, Mother Deuce? She ran fairly often throughout the week, with the only issues again being ammo related. Some stuck cases, some blown out cases that stove piped, and the odd occasional one stuck in the extractor, but she ran all week.

Shoulder fired stuff was mainly the 4 big ones from last year. Uzi, AK, M16 and Thompson all had a good run. This year, was a first. All of our guns got fired. From the obscure S&W 76 to the M2 carbine, to the H&K G3. Everything had at least one mag put down range.

The best part of the whole week? Nothing went down hard-broke until the very end. Eventually stuff does break, parts go bad and things stop running. The M60 went through 2 bolts, but it too eventually succumbed to parts breakage. The S&W 500 went down with a busted firing pin and the G3 just went down.

.50 caliber ammo was the hot ticket all weekend. We ran out Thursday and had to call for more from a local source to get us through the weekend, and we almost didn't make it that far!

So there's week in review. Tomorrow I'll try to get some pics of the shooting line up, and maybe some of the more interesting things and people that were, shall we say, experienced.

Till then...

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