Monday, November 14, 2005

Full-Auto Boogie

Last weekend after the IPSC match at Albany, we had a little full-auto frenzy.

Norm the Ungrateful, and his son Zac the Ungrateful, took me back to the deep bays so I could photograph them playing with Norm's semi-new full-auto gun.

I'm hoping that Norm will let me know what this is. I think he must have told me, but I was not paying attention to it because I thought it looked pretty scarey. You know . . .

Black matte finish + short barrel + pistol grips fore-and-aft + folding stock = EVIL!

Only in this case, it was a rock 'n roller, which means I don't shoot 'em very good, so it IS evil.

UPDATE: 11/15:

Norm replied to my query, in which I had asked "What IS that gun, anyway?"

He writes:
It was a SWD M11/9.
9mm open bolt SMG. The mags were not new, but the drum had been reworked for me and has not been tuned yet. The drum holds 72 rounds, I had to strip like 5 or something to get it to work.
(Note: for more M11 photos, see the Stony Creek Armory website. You can find out more about the gun, and how to get one for your very own, at This may not be a permanent link)

We started right out letting Zac shoot it the first time. I think it may have been his first time to shoot it, too. We all had a lot to learn about the little 'machine pistol'. However long Norm had had the gun, and the magazines they all seemed pretty new and rough-edged. I think Norm's going to have to shoot this a LOT to get it broke in really good.

Fortunately, I suspect he can count on Zac to help him break it in.

(BTW, click on the photos to see the movies.)

After Zac had had his fun, Norm got right down to business.
He wanted to shoot his drum magazine, with umpteen rounds (50, I think) of the 9mm rascals in one trigger-pull. Unfortunately, he found he had to download the magazine 3 or 4 rounds before it would feed. Darn, less than 50 rounds after all!
I'm sure that means he just has to do a bit more breaking-in to get that magazine spring tensioned right.

Oh Yeah.

They thought I was having too much fun, just shooting pictures, and started trying to talk me into shooting the gun. I protested "I've shot machine guns all I need to" but they were persuasive and I was easily persuaded.

I've always been easy to talk into the things that look too fun to be really that fun. Guess what? It is that fun.

I tried to remember my "controlled-fire" training, shooting at the B-zone of the IPSC target with two-to-three round bursts. Some of them only fired one round -- I think. Hard to tell when you're shooting, and even the video doesn't clear up the question of how many rounds I was getting off. You'll have to decide for yourself.

One thing IS clear; I wasn't getting a lot of rounds in the B-zone.

Next, Zac tried it again. They were down to just one fully loaded stick magazine, so Zac obliged his dad by shooting the whole thing up in just a few seconds. It didn't appear that he considered the work too burdensome.

Then Norm split the remaining rounds (less than 100 from the original box of 250) between two magazines, and he and Zac wrapped up the day.

First Norm had to do his chores, and from the look on his face it didn't appear that he was feeling oppressed by the task. It's a nasty job, but somebody's got to do it.

Norm told me that there was a special name for the big ol' grin of pure delight you see on the face of people who shoot a full-auto fun for the first time. I never showed it, of course, because I'm entirely too dignified. I wish I could remember what he called the expression, but judging by the look on Norm's face I have to call it a SEG, for Sh*t-Eating Grin.
UPDATE: November 20 - I met Norm at the Sunday TC Club Match and asked him to remind me of the 'proper' expression. He informs me that this is called the "Thirty-Round Grin". Personally, I think I'll just continue referring to it as the SEG (rhymes with 'hedge').

Zac finished off the ammo with a sustained burst that backed him up almost to the counter behind him. He was concentrating so intently, I doubt he even noticed. As usual, I stood right in the path of the hot brass and got splattered. It was a cool day, I didn't mind a bit. It was worth it to get a photo of a fine young man having more fun that ought to be legal.

Shooting full-auto is like cheating, and getting away with it. I can't afford it, but I heartily recommend it.

Norm, Zac . . . thank you for bringing a perfect day to a brilliant finish.


The video files are all 2mb, except for a couple that might have gone to 3mb because, doggone it, the grins were too big to waste on a small format.

As I said, it's all rock 'n roll. The music is all by the Rolling Stones, from their "Hot Rocks 1964 - 1971" album. Now that I've given you a clue, can you identify the songs that are profiled in the videos.

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