In the upcoming November/December 2014 issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS, author Fred Mastison lists the best places around the U.S. where civilians can shoot the .50 BMG M2 machine gun, also known as the “Ma Deuce.”
Mastison writes, “Unquestionably, the Ma Deuce is the queen of the belt feds and icon of the weapon world. Built since the 1920s, the Browning M2 has managed to keep its crown as one of the most effective heavy machine guns on the planet. Its simple air-cooled design and stout build make it a reliable and welcome companion to soldiers on the front lines. There have been attempts to replace the M2, but she still remains one of the most requested belt-fed machine guns in the world.
“The awesome power felt by pressing the paddles down and unleashing the chest-pounding whump, whump, whump is unlike any other gun in existence. Regardless of the situation, this extension of power makes even the hardest of warriors smile inside. Now this is all fine and great for the soldiers that get to run this mechanical piece of history, but what about civilian shooters? Is there no hope? Worry not, because there are places you can get behind an M2 and experience the magic.
“Held at Knob Creek Range near West Point, Ky., the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot has become legendary in the shooting community. The range for the event was a former military munitions test range, and it’s home to everyday range activities as well. Each April and October, hundreds of people gather from around the country and the world to shoot some of the most exotic weapons available. Standing out in the crowd is the Browning M2 belt-fed machine gun. Participants have the opportunity to shoot old cars, appliances and even drums of fuel with explosives inside. The Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot is famous and has been shown in news coverage all over the globe. With one of the largest collections of hardcore full-auto weapons on one shooting line, it is an event to put on any bucket list.”