What do you get for the dude that has everything this Christmas? Give the gift of a unique experience with a trip to the indoor shooting range.
Part of your firearms training should include understanding what makes a responsible gun owner. Learn more at our blog and practice safety first.
Accuracy is usually less about the gun and more about the handler. Check out some workout tips for improved target practice at the indoor shooting range.
Teaching your child how to shoot can be a rewarding experience. Learn how to conduct proper firearms training with your kid at the Machine Gun Nest.
Every shooter can always work on their pistol accuracy. Check out our blog and visit The Machine Gun Nest indoor shooting range in Frederick to learn how.
So you’re headed to the indoor shooting range in Frederick. Great! But what should you wear? Read The Machine Gun Nest blog to see some outfit tips.
Looking for a fun idea for date night with your great guy or lucky lady? Come to the Machine Gun Nest indoor shooting range. Read our blog to see why.
It’s go time, bros. Whether you’re the groom-to-be planning your own shindig, or you’re the groom’s right hand man, this is one party that can’t be messed up.
A bachelor party is the stereotypical night that sends the groom off into Married Land where he can be all cute and in love with his new wife. The party a standard in wedding planning these days, mostly because it’s one of the best ways to break away from talking with the minister, trying to figure out why the heck the invitations need to be addressed with calligraphy, and writing the thank you notes that are already piling up from the shower.
It’s supposed to be a night for the books - a night that no other party can top. It’s supposed to be a night full of “boys being boys” and honestly just some time to get away from everything to have some fun!
Today, bachelor parties are becoming more than just hitting up the late night adult clubs for some drinks and are instead turning into all day or weekend extravaganzas.
Many dudes pack in some adrenaline-pumping adventure during the day and then hit the bars at night or even escape for a weekend of camping.
When you’re ready to feel the blood pumping through your veins with your best friends by your side, you’re ready for a bachelor party at The Machine Gun Nest.
Plan The Party
Nobody wants to show up to a bachelor party that isn’t organized where everyone sits around and tries to figure out what to do. So be the Best Man who officially organizes a party for the last hoorah. Rent out the shooting range and tack on some firearms.
The Machine Gun Nest caters to bachelor party groups and can help you create a unique time for you and your friends. You can rent the indoor shooting range as well as pistols, shotguns, and full-auto weapons and go to town on targets. If you or some friends haven’t shot before, our team can offer full instruction to make sure everyone has fun.
The indoor range has 12 lanes, and each lane can hold two shooters. You do the math. Or not. We can have as many as 24 shooters in the lanes at once, meaning you don’t have to hold back on the guest list. Some groups have combined the bachelor and bachelorette parties at the shooting range for some friendly competition and then sent the respective friends on their separate ways for the rest of the evening to have a proper send-off.
We are open every day of the week, with hours on Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Check out our other hours of operation in the footer of our website.
Check Plan The Bachelor Party Off Your To-Do List
What To Bring
Everyone needs to bring a valid form of photo identification. We accept drivers’ licenses, passports, and more. That’s it!
If you own your own weapons, you may bring the firearms in a case. All weapons must be in a case and unloaded upon arrival. All guns will be inspected by our staff. You can bring your own ammo as long as it’s approved by our team. In general, we do not approve steel core, armor piercing, tracers, and any non-slug shotgun rounds in the shooting range.
There’s no need to worry about finding a gun to bring to the shooting range. One of our favorite features is we have weapons to rent so everyone over the age of 21 can have a good time. People under 21 are allowed in the range, but they cannot rent a machine gun on their own. With a parent or guardian’s signature, the minor can shoot the more advanced weapons too. You must be 18 years old to rent a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun.
Non-members pay $20/hour for the first shooter on the lane and $10/hour for the second shooter on the same lane.
Gun rental prices vary depending on the weapon of choice.
- Pistols: $10 + the cost of ammo</li>
- Premium Pistols: $15 + the cost of ammo</li>
- Semi-Auto Rifles and Shotguns: $5 - $15 + the cost of ammo</li>
- Full-Auto Weapons: Prices depend on the model + the cost of ammo</li>
We offer special deals for booking an official event at The Machine Gun Nest, so get in touch with us today for specific details on pricing for your group.
So if you’re ready to challenge your bros to see who can hit the most bullseyes before embarking on a night full of fun and adventure, you’re ready for The Machine Gun Nest.
Help your buddy check “Shoot A Machine Gun” off his bucket list before he gets hitched. He’ll remember you forever.
Whether you are brand new to the hobby of shooting or you have been shooting for many years, signing up for a shooting class can be an excellent experience. At our indoor shooting range in Frederick, we offer a variety of instructional classes. Feel free to check out our class schedule online and contact us to learn more about the right class for your skill level. From beginner safety courses to tactical training classes, we have a firearms training course for everyone.
Joining us for a class will afford you a variety of benefits. Just like any hobby, practice makes perfect, and just like many hobbies, having a professional instructor teach you new skills can improve your capabilities. Check out these benefits of taking a shooting class at our indoor range.
Real Life Experience
When you join us for a firearms training course you will benefit from the instruction of true professionals through what we call our L5 Tactical program. Our instructors are not just people who enjoy shooting as a hobby that we simply hire to teach a class. Instead, the instructor group at L5 Tactical is comprised of Maryland police officers. Because our instructors are currently police officers, they are equipped to share extensive knowledge and experience from real life, practical applications. They have years of experience and train you implementing modern, specialized, and advanced education.
Our unique instructor group provides the best and most versatile firearms training around. Due to their extensive real life experience, we are able to provide a huge array in class choices.
Hands On Instruction & Correction
While you can learn a lot on your own about best shooting practices, having an instructor who can guide you is invaluable in catching mistakes early on. We always recommend that new shooters take a beginner safety course. This will ensure you understand exactly how your firearm operates and the important safety precautions you should always take when shooting a gun.
When you work with an instructor at our shooting range, you will be afforded the chance to learn in a small, student focused class. Our firearms training is not focused on time restraints and commercialized learning, instead, our instructors are extremely passionate about ensuring each student succeeds. When you have a real, live instructor by your side, you will be able to catch any bad or lazy habits in your shooting immediately. You will benefit from hands on instruction and real life demonstrations. This is particularly useful for those who wish to improve accuracy and cannot determine what is holding them back from perfecting their aim
Leveling Up & Improving Accuracy
If you are someone who has been shooting for many years, you may find yourself hitting a wall (no pun intended) when it comes to improving your marksmanship. It can be difficult to pinpoint why you are no longer improving or leveling up without the help of a professional instructor. We have classes that are specifically geared towards improving your accuracy and helping you gain a new level of skills. For those looking to improve accuracy, a bullseye marksmanship class might be the perfect choice.
Conversely, if you feel like you have mastered the art of shooting and you are looking for a new challenge, taking a firearms course can open you up to new skills you didn’t know existed. We even provide individual instruction where our expert instructors can assist you in learning new skillsets, such as advanced holster draw techniques, speeding up your reload times, and more.
Developing Self Defense Skills
Although you may own your gun just for the enjoyment of shooting at the range, you may also have a firearm as a means of self defense. If you plan on incorporating your gun as a means of self defense, it is important to take a class that hones your self defense skills. Led by our L5 Tactical team, our self defense classes will cover defensive engagement techniques, including the application of fundamental pistol marksmanship in defensive combat. Our instructors will also focus on the depth of physiological and psychological stress you might undergo in a self defense scenario, so you are better prepared to handle and work through the inherent stress involved in self defense.
There are a variety of reasons people join us for firearms training in Frederick, and we are here to ensure you get the most out of your classes at our indoor shooting range. Call today to learn more about our concealed carry classes, gun safety courses, defensive handgun classes, and more.
Thinking of joining us at our indoor shooting range in Frederick? Check out this list of what you need to bring with you to the firing range.
Safety Is #1
Heading to our indoor shooting range in Frederick can be an excellent activity for both the young and old. Shooting is an enjoyable sport and can be an incredibly safe sport as well. However, safety is not something that just happens. Safety is the direct result of intentional choices. When you come to our shooting range, we want you to have the best time possible. However, safety is always our number one priority at The Machine Gun Nest. Whether you are trying out shooting for the first time, or you are a seasoned veteran looking to sharpen your skills, safety must be at the forefront of your mind. It is no mystery that guns can be dangerous if misused. The good news is, safety is entirely possible and it is quite simple. Check out our top tips for safely shooting at our indoor gun range. Remember, if you run into any questions about safety while you are at our indoor firing range, we will be happy to assist you. We value the safety of everyone enjoying our range.
Start With The Basics
No matter where are you shooting guns, you should practice basic safety rules. These basic rules are so important they are often referred to as the 12 golden rules of gun safety. Even if you have been shooting for years, take a moment to review these rules. If you are new to shooting, these rules are the perfect place to begin.
- Treat every gun like it is loaded at all times.
- Always keep the muzzle of your gun pointed in a safe direction.
- Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot the gun.
- Do not load your gun until you are ready to shoot it.D
- Do not point your gun at anything you do not intend to destroy.
- Know what your target is and what lies beyond it.
- Fully understand the handling and mechanical characteristics of the firearm you are using.
- Only use the proper ammunition for the gun you are shooting.
- Ensure the barrel of your gun is cleared of any obstructions before you load the gun.
- If your gun does not fire when the trigger is pulled, keep the gun pointed in the shooting position for a few seconds. Carefully move the muzzle, still pointing it in a safe direction, and unload the gun
- Never rely on the gun’s safety to keep it from firing. Practice caution.
- Observe your surroundings before you shoot. Make sure you know the space around you so you do not fall or lose your balance while holding the gun.
As you can tell from a common theme of the above rules, the basic sentiment of gun safety is to exercise extreme caution when handling guns. It is absolutely never ok to joke around and point a gun at another person, even if it is unloaded. Treat your gun like a loaded weapon capable of destroying what is in front of its path at all times. Gun safety truly is simple. If you treat guns with the respect they deserve, you won’t face any issues. There is no reason for shooting guns to not be a safe activity, but that safety is entirely in the hands of the person handling the weapon.
Keeping Safe When Shooting At An Indoor Range
When you come join us at our indoor shooting range, it is important to recognize your responsibility in keeping the range a safe place. We are dedicated to ensuring everyone at our shooting range has a great and entirely safe experience. You are a huge part of keeping things safe and fun for those around you. When you visit us at our range, we ask you keep some of the following safety tips in mind.
- Keep the above basic rules in mind at all times and practice them just like you would shooting guns anywhere else.
- Listen to and follow the instructions from our Range Officer.
- Always keep the muzzle of your gun pointed down range.
- Always wear the proper eye and ear protection when at the range. If you forgot your eye and ear protection, let us know and we can help you.
- Keep your gun’s safety on until you are ready to actually shoot the gun.
- Do not horse around while shooting.
- Do not mix alcohol with shooting at the range.
- When in doubt, ask questions. If you are unsure about the operation of your gun, or you have any concerns, please talk to one of our staff members.
- If you brought children to the range, ensure they are with you at all times and respectful of the rules of the range.
- Sign up for a safety class if you are new to shooting. Our safety classes are the perfect way to ensure you are a responsible gun user.
Our goal at our indoor shooting range in Frederick is to ensure that everyone visiting has a wonderful and safe experience. We look to you to help make this happen. Stop by today to learn more about our range or feel free to give our team a call. We look forward to having you. Interested in a safety class? Check out our class list here.
Shop Talk for Newbs
Effective communication is one of the most important things we can master. It allows us to understand and be understood. In addition to sharing clear thoughts between each other, it allows us to ask questions effectively. Part of communicating effectively involves the use of mutually understood terminology.
For a new shooter, it can be tough to navigate the shop talk, especially when the realization sets in that terms used in movies regarding firearms are nowhere to be found amongst veteran shooters.
If you are new to shooting and want to learn more, the first step is to develop proficiency in some basic vocabulary. This list will not make you an expert, but it will increase your ability to understand what you read and ask better questions.
This one is pretty cut and dry, but just for the sake of clarity: a handgun is any gun that is hand-held. This includes semi-automatic pistols, revolvers, and the like.
A rifle is a firearm with a long barrel and is fired from the shoulder. “Rifling” refers to the grooves inside the barrel that cause the bullet to spin as it rapidly ejects, increasing accuracy.
Shotguns, like rifles, are fired from the shoulder. Unlike rifles though, their barrels are smooth as opposed to rifled. Shotguns fire either “shot” or “slugs”. A slug is a single, solid piece that is ejected. Shot is made of many pellets inside a plastic shell. A fired slug carries a powerful punch concentrated in a small area; pellets from shot scatter allowing for a broad, but short range net.
A semi-automatic firearm is a weapon that only fires one round per trigger pull. Because the word “automatic” is included in the name, many falsely attribute the characteristics of an automatic weapon to semi-automatic firearms. “Semi-automatic” can be used to describe both handguns and rifles.
An automatic firearm allows for the firing of multiple rounds per trigger pull. This can be a burst or can be a continuous firing. For an explanation on the mechanisms that allow this, read an older post HERE.
Bolt action refers to rifles that are loaded by pulling back a metal handle attached to a cylindrical bolt. Before use, ammunition is loaded into the magazine (see below for definition of magazine) pushing down a spring. The spring is constantly pushing upward against the ammunition. Then, the magazine is inserted into the rifle. When the bolt is pulled back, it creates an opening in the chamber where the single round enters with the help of the magazine’s spring. The user pushes the handle forward and the bolt pushes the round into place. To fire from this point, simply pull the trigger. Reloading each round involves pulling back the bolt and pushing it forward again.
Revolvers are handguns that use a cylindrical piece to hold and feed the ammunition through the gun. The piece revolves as the hammer is cocked, preparing the next round for firing. Revolvers do not use a loaded magazine like semi-automatics since their rounds are contained in the revolving piece. They have fewer moving parts than semi-automatic handguns.
Single action refers to semi-automatic handguns where the trigger pull performs a single function: releasing the hammer. With both double action and single action firearms, hammers need cocked and hammers need dropped. The difference lies in where the energy to do the former comes. In a single action pistol, the hammer is cocked by capturing the energy of the shot that came before (the recoil pushes back the slide, which in turn cocks the hammer) and the user pulls the trigger to drop the hammer to release the next round.
Double action refers to the firing mechanisms of certain handguns. A double action handgun performs two actions per trigger pull: both cocking and releasing the hammer, which results in firing. Certain semi-automatic handguns and many revolvers function using double action. Double action triggers are typically longer and heavier to pull since the mechanical energy used to move the pieces comes from the user pulling the trigger.
The bullet does not refer to the entire cartridge, but just the piece of lead that projects from the barrel.
The magazine holds the ammunition and is to be loaded into the firearm. Rounds are loaded and compress a spring inside the magazine. The spring creates upward tension to help feed the ammunition into the firearm. Often, media mistakenly refers to magazines as “clips”. Clips hold paper. Or hair.
Caliber is a term used when measuring the diameter of a barrel or the measurement of the ammunition. You’ll see this used for both metric and imperial systems. For example, a 9mm pistol has a barrel diameter of 9mm, allowing for a projectile diameter of 9mm. A “22” has a barrel diameter of .22 inches.
Despite the unfortunate prevalence of this term, “assault rifle” does not have an actual meaning. Sometimes, people use this term to refer to rifles with accessories even though the mechanics and function are no different than if they had no accessories. Accessories include flashlights, more comfortable handles, and other aesthetic changes. “Military style” is also commonly used and people falsely use this label to reference appearance rather than function. Military weapons are typically automatic (multiple rounds per trigger pull, see above for further elaboration). A semi-automatic rifle with personal accessories may appear the same as the automatic version in use by the military, but the function is no different than if you were to add an additional handle and flashlight to your grandfather’s old dusty rifle.
Operationally, both rifles here are identical. The rifle above has rails, which allow for the easy application of accessories for those who like to customize.
This short list is by no means comprehensive, even in the explanations given, but they will provide you with enough to effectively continue your research and encourage you to communicate effectively and confidently.
Pew pew and chill, friends. Until next time. Discussion continued in the comments below.
Parents, a demographic of which I am now proudly a part, all want to provide opportunities for our children to grow and flourish into well-rounded human beings. Extracurricular activities are not only fun, but are tools that round off sharp edges and help polish us into individuals that work in teams with developed, essential interpersonal skills that translate into successful work habits. Thankfully, there is no shortage of extracurricular activities both in and out of school. Soccer, basketball, and even chess are all fantastic. I would like to introduce something you may not have considered along with 10 reasons why, in addition to being fun, you may want to involve your child in shooting sports.
1. Builds hand-eye coordination.
Coordination between our hands and eyes is a must if you want to be successful in shooting sports. Through proper technique, kids learn how stance, grip, and sight alignment allow them to launch a very tiny object so that it lands in a very tiny place, sometimes very far away. It provides a sense of mastery and control over your body when everything is aligned and you nail a bullseye from a distance.
2. Instills confidence.
Good coaching and instruction in any sport can instill confidence, but with a little coaching in marksmanship, a child can achieve small moments of success right away. Many new shooters, adults included, can be taught to shoot consistent groupings either on or near the intended target after only one session. Follow up teachings build confidence through repetition and muscle memory, a marked increase in speed, and accuracy.
3. It teaches safety and respect for firearms.
Shooting sports through school or at your local range introduce your child to firearms in a safe, controlled manner. At the beginning and constantly through training, the fundamentals of safe handling are drilled and incorporated into each aspect of handling. Click here for a sampling of the rules most facilities use to govern safe firearm handling.
4. It is an individual sport.
Shooting is much like track in this regard. Though your results are compared overall to determine placing, the true competition is oneself. Successes with timing and accuracy are found if a personal result is beaten, even if it does not result in a higher placing during that specific event. Most importantly, it teaches that through discipline and consistency, anything can be achieved. Kids will learn that persistence and drilling fundamentals lead to success in all areas of life, on and off the range.
5. Scholarship opportunities.
At the time of this piece (Aug '16), there are 23 Division I schools, 4 Division schools, and 6 Division III schools participating in NCAA shooting sports. If your child is a female, there are almost more women's teams than men's teams. Shooting sports offer a chance of athletic success even if you haven't been blessed with traditional athleticism helpful on a field or on a court.
6. Mixed crowds.
Rather than always spending time with the same age and gender, a bullseye knows no difference. Participation in events allow youngsters to compete with those outside their peer group, hearkening back to the days of community involving all ages and walks of life. It is not uncommon to find co-ed teams even at the collegiate level.
7. It is both a mental and physical sport.
Shooting is as much a mental sport as it is physical. As mentioned previously, hand-eye coordination is necessary but their command comes from the brain. For those interested in increasing the physical demands, 3-gun competitions have shooters thinking quickly, sprinting between areas of the stage, and executing rapid movements with fine motor skills. Amongst the physical demands, a breach in focus and concentration will keep a trained marksman from performing well.
8. Teaches focus and concentration.
As soon as the sights are aligned, a brief but very important moment of focus and concentration falls before pressure is applied to the trigger. A calm, intentionally placed breath allows for the body to enter a state of stability. The heart rate momentarily decreases and the finger bends at just the right spot over the trigger as even pressure is applied. It's almost meditative. Without that moment of focus, it is virtually impossible to hit a small target at a distance. This is a wonderful practical application of the "pause". A "pause" teaches kids that intentional movements made in a tranquil state lead to the defined result. This is helpful in any type of decision-making and problem solving, whether interpersonally or in their careers.
9. It's a versatile sport.
Shooting sports can take place indoors, outdoors, in one position, in many positions, require sprinting, keep you stationary, etc. You get the picture. And participation in one style opens doors to other styles of shooting. Whether your child has the personality of an indoor cat or enjoys experiencing the elements, there is a style of shooting sport to match.
10. Your child can participate in shooting sports for all his or her life.
This is one of the coolest aspects of the sport. It is an activity that can be enjoyed from youth through senior years, alone or with friends and family. As time exercises its power over us in the form of painful knees, decreased energy, and weathered skin, shooting sports can accommodate.
As a new mother, I am looking forward to sharing the sport of shooting with my daughter. I have many wonderful memories of shooting with my father and grandfather and look forward to participating as a family. Introducing your child to shooting sports is a gift to not only help your child grow as a person, but you will be diving into an activity that can be shared for the remainder of your lives.
What makes a good home defense weapon? This is both an extremely popular question and one of tremendous importance. Not everyone enjoys shooting sports and many firearm owners exercise their 2A right by owning a single firearm: a home defense weapon. The aim of this article is not to make a specific recommendation per say, but to explain what makes a good home defense weapon and guide you to what will fit the bill according to your circumstances.
First, let’s discuss what parameters and common recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt. Recommendations and advice are great. But taken out of context and without understanding of your needs, a great recommendation can inadvertently lead you to a screwdriver when you need a hammer.
Do not buy a home defense weapon based on what your friend likes to shoot. Preferences, especially strong ones, tend to develop over time and with experience. I am an unabashed Glock fangirl, but this is because I have used it, know it, and have developed an intentional proficiency with the brand. Despite my personal appreciation for the product, I understand different hands and brains may perform better with a different firearm. No harm in trying out what your friend recommends, but always try before you buy. Fit and preference matter.
Secondly, there is not a one-size-fits-all firearm for home defense. Evaluate your neighborhood, familiarize yourself with the likely scenarios if a home invasion were to happen, and choose accordingly. The goal is to learn what tool will be sufficient in the majority of scenarios, casting the most broad net of protection.
What are your needs?
What is your experience level with firearms? Do you live in an apartment? A single family home? A townhouse? In any type of shared living quarters? Alone? With a family? Children? Are there steps leading to where you and your children sleep, or is everyone on the main floor? These factors are important to consider.
Let’s think about the two most popular choices: a handgun or a shotgun.
Handguns are great and there is no reason a new shooter is unable to develop the proficiency for this to be a good home defense choice. Compared to a shotgun, proficiency will inherently involve much more practice to be effective according to the need (mitigating a threat). After those first sounds indicating that someone is indeed inside your domain, your sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear. Hearts race, palms sweat, and not everyone will operate in the fight versus flight. At the end of the day, you and your family need protection. Without having experienced this before, what do you know about yourself? What tool will allow you to be effective considering how immensely stressful this situation will be? A handgun will need removed from its place of storage. If it’s not loaded, a preloaded magazine can be inserted, the slide racked, and it’ll be ready to work. Shaky hands and a pounding heart can make target acquisition difficult when you need to land a small piece of lead in the right place without much light.
Shotguns are the other popular choice. Depending on your living circumstances and whether or not children are around, they may be kept loaded or unloaded. The benefit of a shotgun as a home defense weapon is that the sound of it loading is well known and terrifying to anyone who may be on the receiving end. And despite a potential predisposition to flight rather than fight, a shotgun can mitigate a threat in shaky, sweaty hands. But on the other hand, its effectiveness is limited by range; the closer the target, the more likely he or she will be stopped by fewer rounds.
In addition to the type of firearm you’re considering, you must think of its storage. The primary concerns are safety and maximum effectiveness. You must carefully consider the locus. There is no excuse for children accessing your firearms. None. Educate yourself on the storage of your firearm and browse the absolute plethora of options regarding safe storage. If you choose a type of safe, practice opening it quickly. If you choose a biometric locking device, regularly check that the batteries are fresh and that it operates as required. Be responsible.
Consider the points previously mentioned and you will have a better understanding of your needs. Head to your local range or gun shop and ask questions. Try before you buy.
Lastly, always practice with your home defense weapon. Choose a regular interval and stick to it. If you practice every two weeks for 30 minutes, you will have a much greater understanding of the function of your firearm. Remember that people do not rise to the occasion, but sink to the level of their training. Take a class. Spending a couple hundred bucks to build a foundation of safe, effective habits is insignificant when compared to what could potentially happen without that training. Be responsible. Remember that safety is the reason you’re purchasing a home defense weapon anyway.
The staff at The Machine Gun Nest is available and knowledgeable to help you through this process. Stop in, hang out, and learn. Try things. Get a feel before committing to a specific firearm.
Stay safe and keep learning!
Have you ever wondered of the difference between "semi-auto" and "full-auto"? Unsure of what a "machine gun" actually is, but didn't want to ask?
While not all firearms are capable of firing in both semi and fully automatic modes, you can identify its mode of fire by the following:
If one trigger pull releases only one bullet, it's semi-automatic.
If one trigger pull allows for multiple rounds, it's fully-automatic.
Let's talk a bit about how this works mechanically. Since revolvers work differently, we will save their function for a future article. This video is my favorite amongst the many that exist. It not only shows the function, but provides an explanation for each movement.
What you'll notice is that from the time the slide is initially retracted manually to load the first round, energy is captured from each step and used to fuel each subsequent step in the firing cycle. It's incredible to think about.
So when thinking semi-automatic, think: trigger pull, primer of the round is struck, tiny explosion inside the chamber propels the bullet forward, recoil pushes the slide back, empty case is ejected, and the combination of the slide readying to move forward with the upward push of the magazine's spring loading another round to fire with the next trigger pull. Pretty straightforward.
Now, let's talk about fully-automatic firearms. Most full-autos are capable of firing in multiple modes (not including the safety being on, preventing the firing of the weapon): single, burst, and the fun-switch.
Check out this video demonstration of fully-automatic firing. It provides insight into how a combination of simple machinery is used to efficiently capture energy and direct it into the next step, much like how a semi-automatic is fired.
It has been said that it is a "bullet driven engine". There are many platforms and variations of which this energy is captured and redirected to continue the feed and firing of bullets. They are blowback action, recoil operated action, and gas operated.
So when you hear "machine gun", think fully-automatic firing. The same principals guiding the operation of semi-automatic firearms are used here, but with the addition of a few parts allows the firing mechanisms to operate without additional trigger pulls.
While semi-automatic weapons are readily available, full-autos/machine guns are extraordinarily difficult for the average person to legally acquire. After applying to do so and undergoing extensive interviewing and background checks from the local level to national level, there is a six to nine month waiting period. Also, fully automatic weapons are significantly more expensive. It is not uncommon to pay more than $10,000 for a single firearm.
Here at The Machine Gun Nest, you can experience these incredible pieces of history and technology in a controlled, safe environment. Our selection of full-auto inventory is quite large, and still growing! Each machine gun rental includes a full safety briefing where you will be acquainted with the firearm's safe operation and even a bit of history. The Range Safety Officer (RSO) will accompany you to the firing line where you will first fire a few bursts before unleashing the full potential of lead flying downrange at incredible rates. It is an exhilarating bucket-list experience! The RSO will ensure that it is clear and safely transport it back to our shelf. After, you receive a free t-shirt in addition to an experience you won't forget.
So much pew!
We are often asked about the legality of suppressors, particularly in the state of Maryland.
If you're new to the suppressor game or are considering purchasing one, we'd like to banish a couple myths and show you how you can #fightthenoise.
Myth 1: Suppressors are for assassins.
We all know that Hollywood loves to embellish everything. Crazy cool explosions, punches that sound like the fist is actually a sack of potatoes, cars exploding as a single 9mm round punctures the wall of a tire, etc. According to Hollywood, suppressors, er..."silencers", are these sleek cylindrical tubes that allow a meek and mild "pew" to escape the barrel of an assassin's pistol as he ends the contract on a high profile target.
While it would be cool, suppressors do as they're named: suppress, not silence, the sound. When the hammer strikes the primer of a bullet, the ensuing explosion of the powder thrusts the bullet through and out of the barrel. As you can imagine, the immense pressure from this tiny, contained explosion follows the bullet as it escapes at speeds faster than sound. That high decibel "crack" is why we wear ear protection.
A suppressor captures those fast moving gasses as they escape the barrel. This provides a contained area where some of these gasses can dispel some of their energy and pressure. The gasses decrease in pressure and velocity.
Slower gasses = not breaking the sound barrier = no "crack"
This results in (usually) no more than a 50 decibel reduction in sound. Definitely not silent, but the shot won't damage your ears. As much as we love seeing cool gear in action movies, suppressors aren't for assassins. They're for anyone who wants to protect their precious auditory sense.
Myth 2: Suppressors are impossible or very difficult to purchase.
Worry not, friends. Suppressors are not impossible, nor difficult to purchase. You can enjoy ear-safe shooting on your pistols and rifles. We'll help you through the process.
In Maryland, if you can legally purchase a firearm you can legally purchase a suppressor. It is processed like any other NFA regulated item.
Once you have selected your suppressor, the next requirements are:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Legally be able to purchase a firearm
- ATF Form 4 paperwork
- Have 2 photos to passport spec
- Pay the $200 tax stamp
Next, we send all of this to the BATFE. After much waiting, the paperwork is returned, affixed with the long awaited tax stamp. Then you are free to take your suppressor home.
We hope to see more people taking advantage of this simple, but incredible piece of technology. It makes shooting more enjoyable and much more safe by taking the sound from ear-damaging to ear-safe.
At the range, we have a rather large selection of suppressors in stock and on our rental inventory. Stop in and give them a try. We guarantee you'll love it.
Pew in peace and quiet,