SGN was back at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot this year for the first time in a couple years (the bridge was destroyed, preventing delivery of magazines). It was good to be back at the nation’s oldest and largest full-auto fiesta, which we celebrated by giving away both the 2012 and 2013 SGN Treasury guns.
I knew things were different when cars were lined up more than a mile to get in the gate Friday morning. We’re used to a substantial line, but this was longer than I’d ever seen, and it got worse later in the morning.
A huge crowd of showgoers was lined up at the ticket window, and they had one thing on their minds: ammo. Even at prices like $899 for a 1,000-round case of .223, there was a continuous stream of purchasers exiting by the SGN tent, many with a case on either shoulder. We are used to seeing the mechanical mules carrying big stacks of ammo toward the parking lot, but there wasn’t much of that. Instead of a few buyers packing out several cases, it seemed everyone leaving the range was carrying a carton.
SGN advertiser Cope’s Distributing arrived with 16 pallets of ammo and was down to about a half-dozen by Friday afternoon, mainly stuff like 5.45×39 and 7.62×25. I was told that any and all pistol ammo was hoovered up by Saturday morning. Components like primers and empty brass were premium priced and moving out fast, too.
While a huge crowd awaited the chance to get into the pole barn to get at the merchandise on display, I didn’t see a whole lot of guns being sold; I guess once they’d bought ammo, attendees were tapped out.
The noise from the firing line reflected the tall ammo prices, too. Those long mini-gun fusillades that used to open up every firing session tended to be a lot shorter this time. Senior Editor Peter Kokalis would have approved the more controlled bursts being directed at the usual KCR collection of junk cars, boats and detritus laced with plenty of Tannerite and propane bottles.
If you’ve never been to Knob Creek, you can get a bit of its flavor in the new cable TV series Guntucky, airing on the CMT network. There are obvious comparisons to be made with A&E’s fabulously successful Duck Dynasty, another family-oriented show, but the Sumner family is even noisier than the duck call-making Robertsons.
- <h2>Ticket window line</h2>The line at the ticket window was 100 yards long Friday morning, and most of those in it were on a mission: to find and buy large quantities of ammo.