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Big Guns Going BOOM!!

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As a producer for Guns.com, I’ve got the pleasure of photographing and filming many large-caliber guns over the years at gun shoots and shows. Witnessing the explosive power of military hardware up close and in person never fails to tickle the senses.

YOU TOO CAN OWN BIG GUNS

Owning an artillery gun as a civilian is not unlike owning a select-fire machine gun or suppressor. Since the National Firearms Act of 1934, anything over .50 caliber and isn’t black powder is generally regarded as a destructive device. So, you’ll need to fill out some paperwork, wait a few months, and if you meet the requirements, you can then take possession of your baby.

Finding one may be a problem, although they are out there. Getting into big guns is like a way of life. You need to start living, breathing, and thinking large-caliber. You’ll also need to be well-heeled. Big guns cost big bucks.

However, if you compare a select-fire machine gun such as an M16 and a 37 mm Bofors anti-tank gun, they both have similar price tags of around $25,000. So, it depends on what you’d rather have. Some rat-tat-tat or the big boom.

Big Guns Going Boom dangerous bob

Robert Bigando, AKA Dangerous Bob, next to his 1943 Ordnance QF 2-pounder. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

BIG GUNS CAN BE ADDICTIVE

Of course, once you have your big gun, finding ammunition, shell casings, and maintaining them is the next big challenge. Fortunately, there are people like Robert Bigando– or “Dangerous Bob”– in the world. For the last decade, he’s been a go-to guy for the big guns.

He bought his first big gun at the age of 21 after firing a 37 mm gun at a gun shoot. “The big guns are super addictive. There’s nothing like standing next to one of these things, especially the first time you fire one. Whenever you feel that muzzle blast and the gun works the way it’s supposed to, it’s almost like you’re reborn,” said Bigando.

Big Guns Going Boom

Well-used but still useable, 75 mm shells found in a scrapyard in Kentucky. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

ATTEND A MACHINE GUN SHOOT

He now owns a number of big guns, and when he’s not tinkering on them, he’s helping other people find, maintain, and operate their guns. One such business is Battlefield Vegas. They run an indoor range in Las Vegas where tourists from around the world can shoot select-fire guns.

They also just recently opened an outdoor range 30-minutes from Las Vegas where you can shoot the big guns. (Not to mention you can also shoot select-fire guns out of a helicopter.) Guns.com went up for a ride earlier this year and we’re still buzzing from the action.

Big Guns Going Boom

Chris Eger, the host of Select-Fire on Guns.com, leans on an M249 SAW at Gunship Helicopters. They take you up in a helicopter to lay some heat on the hillsides. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

ATTEND A MACHINE GUN SHOOT

If you can’t afford the big guns don’t worry, you can still see them in action at events like machine gun shoots. The two most famous shoots in the world are the Knob Creek Shoot in Kentucky, and the Big Sandy Shoot in Arizona. Both shoots happen in April and October of every year, and you’ll be able to see some big guns in action.

The Big Sandy Shoot is probably the best place to see them because the firing line is so big. October 2017 saw the biggest turn out of big guns in the event’s history and someone even brought a fully functioning World War 2 ball turret with twin .50 cals. You could get inside it and shoot for a couple of bucks. How cool is that?

If you really, really, really like the big boom, you can even get your ashes fired from a cannon, like in the video below.

Big Guns Going Boom

A Lahti L-39 20 mm anti-tank rifle mounted on an M29 Weasel at the Green Mountain Boys machine gun shoot in Eden, Vermont. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

M2 Browning .50 cal at the Green Mountain Boys machine gun shoot in Eden, Vermont. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

M2 Browning .50 cal at the Green Mountain Boys machine gun shoot in Eden, Vermont. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

An M134 Minigun is a 7.62×51 mm NATO at the Green Mountain Boys machine gun shoot in Eden, Vermont. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

The October 2017 Big Sandy Shoot was graced by many big guns. Photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

Homemade 20 mm gun photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

Oerlikon 20 mm cannon photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

German Rheinmetall 37 mm Pak 36 gun photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

A 25 mm Hotchkiss anti-tank gun photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

The October 2017 Big Sandy Shoot saw the largest number of big guns on record. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

US M1 57 mm Gun photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

1837 6-pound cannon photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

US T-124 76 mm anti-tank gun photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

US 3-inch M5 gun photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

A 75 mm and 105 mm recoilless guns. In the middle is a homemade black powder gun. Photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

Russian D20 or M1955 152 mm howitzer. It is currently the largest firing gun in civilian hands in the US. Photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

The Sperry A2 ball turret taking a break after firing a few thousand rounds at the Big Sandy Shoot fall 2018. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

An M61 20 mm Vulcan Cannon nicknamed the “Hand of God.” It belongs to Battlefield Vegas and was photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

An M61 20 mm Vulcan Cannon nicknamed the “Hand of God.” It belongs to Battlefield Vegas and was photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

A Korean War-era M27 105 mm recoilless gun nicknamed Icarus belonging to Dangerous Bob. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Big Guns Going Boom

An M60A1 Patton main battle tank belonging to Battlefield Vegas. Photographed at the Big Sandy Shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

The post Big Guns Going BOOM!! appeared first on Guns.com.



Source: https://www.guns.com/news/2020/06/17/big-guns-going-boom
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