This past weekend (12-14 October, 2012) was the Fall Knob Creek machinegun shoot in West Point, Kentucky.
The Knob Creek ("KCR") shoot is normally a bi-annual event, held in April and October each year. It is the World’s largest machine gun (MG) shoot and machine gun show.
Although none of our group are really “into” machine guns this event was on the “bucket list” of one of our party. With the spring shoot canceled last April because of heavy rains washing a bridge out, we were determined to make this one.
Web sites were checked, reservations made, bags were packed and off we went. N and V, father and son left a little later than M and me. From our home area in southern Ohio we had about a 3 ½ hour drive, and arrived at KCR around noon on Friday.
The event costs $10 per day for everyone over 11 and $5 for those under 12. This fee gets you in the event. Parking is free and a shuttle is available every 15 minutes or so. Camping is also available but I lack details on this.
The entry fee gets you into the gun show, the public shoot and the amazing gun store. The gun show is mostly under a large shelter house that I estimate at 150×500 feet. It is literally crammed full from one end to the other with guns, MGs, parts, ammunition, surplus goods, fireworks, knives and any number of other items. Outside of the shelter house are many booths and tents set up with vendors for many other items, including “Survival” type foods.
The gun store is amazing. It has more firearms than I have ever seen at one place at one time. There is also a cafeteria in the same building. Several food vendors are located outside of the gun store.
KCR MG Shoot facilities consist of two ranges. (Although I am positive there are many more ranges available during normal business hours.) The upper range is to your left as you come into the area proper. It is fenced off and has a covered shooting area. This range is for owners and dealers who demonstrate their various guns. There is room for approximately 50 shooters.
There are some bleachers available, but with very limited seating. I would not advise taking lawn chairs to this area as it becomes very congested during the shooting times. Keep your chairs in your vehicle for when you need a rest. I would also pack a cooler with drinks and snacks. Need I say that alcohol is not okay to have. Drinking around guns is as stupid as drinking and driving.
The lower range is for rentals. The first part is the shotgun walk area. The next area has two vendors who have machine guns for rent (more later). Lastly there is an area for the jungle walk shoot.
Saturday morning found the four of us waiting for the rentals to open up. We were there early and close to the front of the line. The fees are graduated "per magazine, drum or belt" depending on the MG you wish to shoot. A magazine for a submachine gun will start at $35, a drum at $65. Full machine guns are about $40 per magazine.
(NOTE: A submachine gun is a gun that is capable of full automatic fire in a pistol cartridge. A machine gun is a gun capable of full automatic fire in a rifle caliber.)
Examples of what we shot:
BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) 30-06, 20 rounds for $35, 40 for $60
Thompson Model 1928 (Tommy Gun) .45 caliber, 30 round mag for $40, 2 for $60, 50 round drum for $60, 2 for $100
HK-G3 .308 caliber, 20 round mag for $35, 2 for $60
M60 and Browning 1919 .308 caliber, belt of 50, $65 for one, and $100 for 2
Uzi 9mm, $40 for magazine of 32
Suggestion: When you go through the payment line purchase tickets for everything you want to shoot. One of the vendors gives extra shooting for over $200 spent. Also it will save time not having to go through the lines again. Some of the lines were close to 3 hours long. (It is still worth it). Shooting is limited to those age 16 and up. Waivers must be signed before shooting
Every couple of hours there is a ["Mad Minute"] show. This is where the owners and vendors all shoot at the same time. They will shoot for about 45 minutes. Their targets may be old cars, boats, appliances, wire spools or whatever. Fires erupt as these items catch on fire. There are also explosions as gas tanks or gas cylinders are hit.
This range is the old Naval gun range once owned by Uncle Sam and part of Fort Knox. The range is about 400 yards deep.
I should state here that ear and eye protection are a must. As the daylight fades the tracers become more and more visible.
As I said, there were four of us there for N.’s Bucket List item. We are already making plans for next year to take our children and grandchildren. We are also talking it up at work and have several people very interested. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you there next time. It really is fun!