The Kid & I hit the range today. While we were there two lanes over someone was firing an AR-15 using 220 ammo on full auto. The noise scared the Kid and he lost all interest in shooting; 15 minutes later we were out of there and he was shaking and in tears.
I didn’t give the Kid a hard time. I wasn’t too pleased to be firing alongside that weapon. The sound of that weapon on full auto was pretty scary, primal, and really hit you in the gut.
I’m not a big fan of automatic weapons. I realize they are tools and there is a purpose for them. But I am interested in marksmanship, and spray and pray isn’t marksmanship if you ask me.
First off you lose control when firing on full auto. The guy shooting today was firing at a target about 7 yards away and he was all over the thing. The range officer had to advise him, probably to keep him from shooting into the ceiling (which is a big no-no at the range). We were firing an MP-5 on semi-auto at 20 yards, and I shot a 5” group. Even the kid was shooting a tight 6” at 10 yards.
Second it’s a waste of ammo and money. I don’t know how much the range sells 220 ammo for, but I’d bet it was at least $15 for a box of 50. On full auto the guy went through that in less than a two or three minutes. I’m sure if you have unlimited amounts of both ammo and money it makes sense, but to a tightwad like me you may as well set fire to your cash.
Third, from my limited tactical knowledge you announce your location with that thing. My image of marksmanship is of a sniper hitting his target from a mile away. Even in close combat I would expect that soldiers conserve their ammo to prevent having to reload – a time when they would be most vulnerable. If an enemy was firing away on full auto, I would bet that a decent marksman could take him out firing on semi-auto.
Again, I’m sure there is a purpose for fully automatic weapons, but it’s not why I like target shooting. So although it may seem more macho to some, my idea of shooting isn’t Rambo chopping down a forest with a machine gun. My goal is accuracy and control, and learning how to achieve both on a budget while having fun.