Machine Gunning

2015-10-17 Shooting an AK-47 and M-4 In Full Auto

It's harder than it looks. Yeah, you just pull the trigger and bullets fly out, but landing them on target is a bit trickier.

Tim & I had a lot planned for this trip but figured we would never be closer to shooting a machine gun. For whatever reason, Las Vegas is crawling with gun ranges that offer these opportunities, probably for people from countries where guns are outlawed. This place, Discount Firearms & Ammo, had quite the selection of automatics.

We're not "into" guns beyond their VERY limited protection value and the childish fun of putting holes in things. We try to treat them with appropriate respect as we should anything with such easy-kill capability. Kind of like propellers and hurtling cars. Mostly it's just plain curiosity: what's it like to shoot an AK-47? Or the U.S. current military M-4? We were about to find out.

Discount Firearms runs the "Machine Gun Experience" and part of the package is transportation to and from a hotel. In this case it was a monster truck. As if having machine guns emblazoned on the vehicle's wrap wasn't enough to identify it.


Thankfully there was no gun snobbery. I'm no an expert do I play one at the gun store. I'm not going to impress anybody with my non-existent knowledge or marksmanship. Being curious, I'll ask a lot of questions and these guys were great about answering them. "Little John" is indeed kind of short but very knowledgeable and plain enjoyable to work with.

Tim went first. He fired a 25-round clip

No doubt you could do this cheaper if you just walked in, asked to rent the gun and buy ammo. Locals who keep proficient probably get even better rates.

We both fired off two clips of each gun.

Little John gave us tips on how to get the best results and what to try. Getting it to shoot only 3 rounds at a time wasn't too hard but he also suggested doing each burst in sufficiently rapid succession that you don't re-aim. Instead, you try keeping the gun on target while leaning into its recoil. He didn't say it's the ONLY technique, but that it's fun to try. It was also harder to stay on target. Tim didn't do it, rather he re-aimed for each burst, and may have been more accurate as a result.

John was gracious in his assessment of my targeting. You can tell these things. I had a hostage target and pretended that it was an ISIS gunman holding an Al Qaeda target.



2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!