Full Auto Fun At Knob Creek
By Aaron Kirkingburg
Another weekend of full auto fun at Knob Creek has came and went. Machine gunners and enthusiasts from all over the U.S. (and some farther) congregated once again at Knob Creek Gun Range in Bullit County just outside of West Point, Kentucky. Attendance was very good this spring, as a record 3,700 people came through the gates on Friday alone.
Vendors of all sorts were set up selling military surplus, gun parts, ammo, accessories, knives, collectibles, tactical gear, and oh yes…machine guns! Shopping in the pavilion and surrounding tents is enough to make any gun nut go into sensory overload. Punctuate that with the sound of machineguns and exploding targets from the firing line every 30 minutes, and the constant din of sub guns and small arms fire from the lower range…what more could a gun nut want.
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Have you ever seen a particular weapon in your favorite war movie and thought “I’d like to shoot one of those once”. Well this is the place to do it. Machinegun rentals on the front line, and down at the lower range include weapons from all over the world, old and new. Choose from an old British-made Vickers water-cooled .303 which shoots 500 rounds/minute from its cloth belt, or the 8MM German MG-42 which fires 1,200 rounds/minute from its metal linked belt, down to the Czech made CZ-24/26 which fires it’s 7.62X25 MM rounds from a stick magazine at around 600 rpm.
Some highlights from this years shoot include the use of a semi trailer as a target for the 105 MM Howitzer. One round from that beast blew the undercarriage out off the rear end, sending the wheels up the hill, only to roll back down and come to rest against the remains of the trailer. Once again, the chance to shoot an M-60 from a helicopter was auctioned off. One lucky individual (who had the cash to spare) won the bid, and got to fire an entire belt through an M-60 while hovering over the upper range during the night shoot. Tracer rounds rained down on an explosive target with a flare attached for visibility, until one finally found its mark, and detonated the charge.
The night shoot was once again spectacular. With the recent weather (things were actually closed down early Friday night due to tornado warnings), the range and surrounding hillsides were dampened enough to allow tracers, and incindiary rounds. Plus there was no shortage of explosions and parachute flares.
Watch for an upcoming show on OLN, as they had a crew there filming not only the fireworks at the night shoot, but many of the other activities and events, including the Jungle Walk, which is a miniature “sporting clays” type range with steel targets, which is shot with a sub-machinegun. Bring your own or (for those of us not fortunate enough to own one) rent a Class III Uzi 9MM with 50 rounds for $20 and have at it! My son was the last person through the Jungle Walk this past weekend…he didn’t score very well, but the Jungle Walk sure scored well with him!
There is plenty to do at the Creek. From helicopter rides, police scenario simulators, to the antique military bolt gun match... there’s a little something for everyone. Each show is a little different. You just never know who is going to show up, and what they are going to bring. After 12 1/2 years of attending Knob Creek twice a year, first as a spectator, and now as a vendor, it's still a fun filled weekend I look forward to. Especially when I can share it with someone who has never attended, as I did for 3 people this spring (who I’m sure will be back).