Range Review: Machine Guns Vegas

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Machine guns are a top draw in Sin City. In fact, the constant flow of thrill seekers from other, less freedom-loving countries means the appetite for full-auto fun is damn near insatiable. Places like The Gun Store have been satisfying customers for years, but they’re designed to maximize customer throughput. Wait times can be painfully long. The latest wave of machine gun rental operations have focused more on the quality of the experience. Machine Guns Vegas is at the top of the heap . . .

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MGV’s exterior has a minimalist feel. There’s nothing to denote that this is a gun range besides the monogram in the corner, the large red door and the TTAG writers loitering by the entrance. If you don’t know what you’re looking for you could miss it. As soon as you grab the semi-automatic door handle you know you’re headed for a ballistic bounty.

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The interior is far more inviting than other Vegas machine gun ranges’ bus station-like waiting rooms. There’s some MGV merchandise sprinkled around the room, but the focus is clearly on the customer experience, not the tourist tchotchkes. You reserve your machine gun shooting package of choice at the desk. No line, no wait. Just tell them what you want to shoot, sit down and relax. Small tables ringed with chairs dot the center of the spacious waiting room.

For those who want a more private experience, MGV offers a VIP area with a separate range and waiting area away from the unwashed masses. It runs $100 more per head Given the salubriousness of the general range area I’m not seeing that much benefit. Then again, you’re also talking to someone who doesn’t get strip clubs, VIP or otherwise.

When your trigger time arrives, a range officer meets your party tableside. There’s a short discussion of range safety rules before they lead you out onto the range proper.

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The main shooting range is a smaller than I expected. There are 10 lanes and about 25 yards of distance. That length of the range makes sense for machine gun shooting, but there were definitely more than a couple rifles in the cabinet which would be absolutely wasted at those short distances. Oh well — this is all about pulling triggers, not improving accuracy.

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MGV offers a number of different packages, many appealing to customers who’ve seen particular machine guns in the movies or video games. Options can be found here. They include themed packages like “The Gamers Experience” featuring famous video game-related firearms. Full-auto firearms are also available a la carte from their list for those who want something different.

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Up on the line, your RSO walks you through the gun’s manual of arms and gets everything prepped. All you need to do is grab the gun and pull the trigger. Once you’re done, you can take a couple selfies with your gat of choice before handing it back to the RSO.

You get a new target for each person on each gun. There were a couple pads of targets hanging on the back wall; shooters are encouraged to grab a new one for each new magazine. I appreciated the ability to see how well I did with each gun, and the free targets eliminated the other ranges’  feeling that you’re being nickel-and-dimed to death.

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Once you’re out of ammo (or money) MGV’s shuttle service will take you back to your hotel of choice, gratis.

Machine Guns Vegas is the best shooting experience for your buck on the Las Vegas strip. Establishments like Battlefield Vegas have a bigger selection of giggle-switch enabled guns, but MGV’s combination of helpful staff and upscale ambiance make it then to beat.

comments

  1. avatar Ralph says:

    MGV is a nice place. I go there every once in a while and enjoy it with my newbie friends. I will always try to give some business to The Gun Store because the owner, Bob Irwin, is extremely pro-2A and provides the required 8-hour Nevada carry class for free. As in zero dollars. Nothing. Frankly, it would be a bargain at twice the price.

    1. avatar NV says:

      The Gun Store sucks. It’s classes are highly inaccurate and Bob Irwin has said a lot of 2A compromises in the local media. It’s a joke in the Vegas gun community.

      1. avatar notalima says:

        While I appreciate it that Bob offers the classes for free, locals who have been have reported various not-quite-right things being taught.

        As much as I’d like to refer folks to a ‘free’ class, I refer them to a pay class where I know they are going to get the straight dope.

        In the media Bob sometimes comes across as that uncle you just want to stop talking. There are definitely times when his opinions are detrimental to the cause (which is just my opinion…much like the hat that goes on my sphincter…) 😉

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          I took the class at The Gun Store and anyone who says they’re teaching stuff wrong, or teaching the wrong stuff, is FOS.

          Success breeds a lot of hate. Jealousy is a b!tch, and not in a figure of speech way.

    2. avatar Anmut says:

      I’m going to Vegas in April and was planning on hitting one of these places up. I actually called this range. Here’s my conversation with the girl that answered the phone there:
       
      me: hi, can I rent just individual guns or do I have to choose a package?
       
      her: which gun did you want to rent?
       
      me: I’d like to shoot a glock 18
       
      her: we have the glock 17
       
      me: okay, is that a converted glock 17? 
       
      her: no, it’s a handgun
       
      me: no, I actually own a 17, I understand it’s a handgun.  But is your 17 converted to full auto?
       
      her: it’s a 9mm
       
      me: you’re an idiot.  *click*

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        As someone who has shot a glock 18, you’re better off just imagining it. Remember how they say ‘never meet your heroes’? That apparently goes for guns as well.

        1. avatar Anmut says:

          Still though…

        2. avatar Lem says:

          😀

    3. avatar Will in Oregon says:

      The class is free but they charge you roughly double market value for the ammo they make you buy for the mandatory live fire portion

  2. avatar Amanofdragons says:

    Quick question, how does one get into this kind of business? I’m assuming at least a type 2 dealer licence.

    1. avatar PK says:

      Quick answer, 07 manufacturing FFL and 02 SOT. Longer answer… it’s quasi-legal. These are post-86 MGs and the ATF is a bit miffed that so many companies are skirting the intention of demo/sample posties. I wouldn’t suggest getting a business going until that’s all smoothed over.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        And under what justification could the ATF or Congress claim that this type of business is detrimental to our nation’s vital interests? MGV has expensive licenses through the ATF and passed background checks. They are NOT selling full auto machine guns to “unauthorized” people out of a trunk of a car in some ally. And they keep their machine guns under lock and key when a range safety officer is not actively using one on their range. In other words precisely ZERO bad things are happening at these operations. How can anyone claim that Congress is empowered to put the kabash to something that is causing any harm to anyone?

        1. avatar PK says:

          You may have a mistaken impression of my personal feelings on this topic, so allow me to answer in a bit more detail. I, personally, see absolutely nothing wrong with this sort of business practice and I believe it should remain legal. The problem arises in that the only allowable uses for post-86 MGs are (in the current ATF interpretation of the laws in question) end users such as military, police, authorized persons in official positions of the State or Federal government, and as sales/demonstration samples for both 02 SOT manufacturers and 03 SOT dealers.

          Here’s the law in question:

          ” (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun.
          (2) This subsection does not apply with respect to—
          (A) a transfer to or by, or possession by or under the authority of, the United States or any department or agency thereof or a State, or a department, agency, or political subdivision thereof; or
          (B) any lawful transfer or lawful possession of a machinegun that was lawfully possessed before the date this subsection takes effect. ”

          As you say, there’s really no harm in this sort of business, everyone enjoys it, but a very (overly, in my opinion) strict reading of the law would prohibit it as a legitimate use. The ATF, sadly, does seem to have the final say in the interpretation of this particular passage, as they’re the agency giving authority to manufacture the post-86 MGs in the first place.

          I’m simply saying that until the ATF either unruffles their feathers or something is set in stone one way or the other, it wouldn’t be a particularly wise choice to start a business with this particular model. That, or at least be aware of the problem.

          With a bit of luck, 18 U.S. Code § 922(o) will be removed as an unreasonable restriction on our rights and this whole issue will be moot.

  3. avatar jwtaylor says:

    And while there, I got to display my true talent, making all things mechanical, especially guns, fail. My deep karma debt apparently caused two MP5s to have catastrophic failures.
    This is my ever present curse. Remember this, faithful TTAG readers; if you ever see a 5 star reliability rating in my reviews, it means that gun overcame the very will of the universe that conspires against me.

    And by the way, the whole experience that at MGV was great. We were treated great by knowledgeable, accommodating staff. Well done.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      In October, please let me shoot an Mp5 before your curse breaks them all.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Bad mojo for the machines. I once had a senior nco describe me as a cub bear in boxing gloves.

      Put me in a padded room with a steel ball and a feather and I’ll fuck up that ball.

      It’s a talent that only the great possess.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        “Put me in a padded room with a steel ball and a feather and”…
        Kind of a let down where that ended up, jwm.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          So I’m guessing the guns and gambling are not all that draws you to Vegas?

        2. avatar jwtaylor says:

          I really, really like Vegas.

    3. avatar PPGMD says:

      I thought I was the only one that did that.

      People hand me some new gun to try, often before I empty the magazine the gun with be locked up or broken.

      I just put it down and say “My job here is done. I came, I fraked shit up, and I left”

      My personal guns are an exception, they just break by being worn out.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        One of the reasons I love russian guns so much. It’s hard to mess them up.

        1. avatar PPGMD says:

          Yeah, not in my experience.

          They are more tolerant than the AR to mud and such. But they break just as well. I think it was a trigger spring in my case.

    4. avatar Accur81 says:

      Well jwt, I feel your pain. Usually my guns work, but that’s because I force the issue and have a pretty vigorous maintenance regimen. Sometimes I still have failures. For what it’s worth, I’ve had a bunch of M249 SAWS jam on me. And I’ve had gun recalls, worn out springs, bad mags, out of spec mods, etc.

      My curse comes with investments.

  4. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    I don’t plan to visit Vegas anytime soon, I’m a sticker in the mud. But Can’t wait to get some full auto fun in October!

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Yeah, I’ve been told I’m strictly hands off the minigun on FAF.
      I do think I’ll bring the full auto .458SOCOM SBR though. The magazine only holds 15 rounds, which is more than I need, because my shoulder only holds up for the first 10.

  5. avatar StayProfessional says:

    I suggest everyone avoid these tourist trap hack job fleece you out of your money to shoot full auto as a wanna be tactical commando. There is nothing worse than giving a full auto weapon to an untrained person (5 minute safety lecture is not training) or to a gun guy who thinks he knows what he is doing because he owns an AR with more after market assessories on it than a Mexican general has medals. Spare me the argument that if it convinces 1 person to buy a gun it is worth it because it’s not. The negative press will win out.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Piss meet Cheerios. The little girl killing the range officer was a $#itty incident, but I’m sure this brings a lot more people to guns than just one.

    2. avatar KMc says:

      Wow, lighten up, Francis!! Have you ever shot full auto?

    3. avatar jwm says:

      Bro, do you even operate?

    4. avatar Scoutino says:

      Don’t buy into that “OMG full auto assault weapon of mass destruction” hype. You really don’t need a lot of training to shoot full auto safely or even to hit what you aim for. Just some good basic instruction.
      When I started competing with FA Sa. Vz. 58 and Vz. 52 pistol with club of reserve military officers I was about 11 years old. Funny thing, while not winning much, our group usually finished in a middle of the pack when the dust settled. I personally never ended as last, meaning this scrawny kid shoots better than some vets!
      Full auto is fun and everyone should at least try it.

  6. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    I’ve been here, definitely a nice place, unfortunately the only time I have ever been able to fire an MP5.

    Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention, I am not sure, but in any case I chose a package with a SCAR-16, Kriss Vector and the aforementioned MP5. I was woefully disappointed upon discovering that only the MP5 was select-fire. Again, maybe I missed the fine print, maybe I was too presumptuous in assuming the SCAR and Kriss were select-fire as well, but I wasn’t forewarned at all that I was choosing a package with two semi-autos. After all, why select a package that includes select-fire AR, a platform I have shot the proverbial shit out of in semi-auto, when I could try something I haven’t shot at all?

    Still a nice experience to shoot there, great range, environment and all, just a bit too pricey if you don’t shoot select-fire. I had the day in Vegas to mostly doddle around before work and I checked out various gun stores, including some of the other places with select-fire weapons. MGV offered an experience that gave you the idea they wanted to treat the customer better than just a carny waiting for the ride to end so they could usher in the next round of wallets.

  7. avatar Chi says:

    I’ve been to MGV, The Gun Store, and Battlefield Vegas. Battlefield was the only place that didn’t try to rush me through to get another customer/shooter into the lane.

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