Machinegun Shoot

Today was the first time I ever fired an automatic weapon. I have a 12 gauge shotgun, a bolt action rifle, the Mosin Nagant, and two 9mm pistols – a Taurus PT-99 which is a clone of the Beretta, like the pistol the military has used since 1982 when it replace the 45 cal 1911. My other pistol is a Sccy CPX-2. I have fired several other semi-automatic rifles and pistols, and revolvers. I have a Concealed Pistol License, so I know what is involved with carrying a pistol everyday. I live in Michigan, where open carry is legal and have open carried often.

Today was also the first time I ever encountered bad ammo, had stovepipes, or other major fails to feed.

I shot an AK-74, different caliber than the AK-47, an M-4 (basically same as an M-16), P-90 (Ever see Star Gate?), 1919 30 cal Browning BMG, 50 Cal BMG, 50 cal Barret sniper rifle, 9mm Uzi, 45 cal Thompson Submachine gun, 9 mm Sten Gun, and I think one other, but I am drawing a blank.

I just wish I could have got pics or video of my shooting.

None of them had the kick that I expected.

The Thompson submachine gun did climb, but it is so heavy it did not have much recoil.

The 50 cal Barret semi auto sniper rifle has less kick than a 12 gauge shotgun.

All the hand held firearms were not hard to aim if using single shot or just bursting a few rounds.

The P90 uses such a small caliber that it has no kick and there is no drift from your target on full auto.

Unfortunately, unlike the movies, a 30 round magazine is gone in seconds.

They had a full auto Glock pistol, but I did not shoot it. I did get video of someone else shooting it and of someone else shooting the Barret.

The 50 cal rounds were $5 each. The 30 cal BMG rounds were $1 each. Depending on the gun, the price for a full magazine went from $20 to $50.

I was the first to fire the 50 BMG today, and my second round did not eject and the brass got stuck in the barrel and it took about an hour to get it so I could fire my last eight rounds. I then had my 5th remaining round not eject and the 6th remaining round got jammed in it, but thankfully it was easy for the owner to remove from the chamber. Later, the case stuck in the barrel happened to another person firing it.

I plan to do this again. It was a lot of fun, but expensive.

Until today, I did not have real world experience to compare to rules I have encountered for automatic weapons. For example, Top Secret, had a rule for the 45 cal Thompson Submachinegun that it could do 5 shots a round, but each successive shot got harder to make. In reality, it is not that hard to put all 5 rounds on target if you are trained in the weapon. I figured this out after putting one 30 round magazine through one. It is a heavy weapon and does not have much kick, but it does tend to drift up. If you lean into it and know how to use it, it is not hard to get every round on target.

Machineguns on a tripod are very accurate and the bullets go where you want, provided you have it set up correctly. This just emphasized what the armies of the world learned in WWI. They are very loud and you feel the shock wave of each round when you are close enough. Basically, if you are within about 30-40 feet, you will feel the shock wave from a 50 caliber round. Smaller caliber rounds did not have this effect.

The Barret 50 cal was the semi-auto version with a ten round magazine. The owner had a suppressor, what most people call a silencer. It was a LOT more quiet and it stopped the shock wave. I could not feel it in my chest when he fired suppressed rounds. That was very cool. Unlike TV and the movies, a suppressor does not make it silent, but reduces the level of noise such that hearing protection is not needed.

I don’t think you can or should make a rule for every possible weapon or combination of weapons. If you try to model absolute reality in a tabletop RPG, you have so many rules and tables to consult that you get bogged down in the rules and play crawls or halts. There should be very few pauses in the game, ideally only for snack and bathroom breaks.

I will end with a PSA.

I know that the movies, TV shows, and the media have a lot wrong when it comes to firearms, especially gun safety. How many pictures for movie and TV promotions show the actors holding guns with their fingers on the trigger and/or the gun pointed in an unsafe direction? The way people run around on TV and in the movies with their fingers on the trigger, why aren’t they firing all the time when they don’t mean to? You don’t put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot. It would take a very heavy trigger pull to make running with your finger on the trigger not discharge.

The rules of gun safety:

  • Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
  • Do not let the muzzle cross anything you don’t want to destroy.
  • Be aware of your target and what is beyond it.
  • Do not touch the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Store guns and ammunition separately and inaccessible to others.
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