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Posted: 10/31/2004 1:01:54 PM EST
Machine guns pump up fans
Sunday, October 31, 2004
By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com
masslive.com


WESTFIELD - It was a great day for .50-caliber machine gun enthusiasts and a bad day for pumpkins.


When the annual machine gun shoot concludes this afternoon at the Westfield Sportsman's Club, hundreds of thousands of rounds will have been spent, a truckload of pumpkins obliterated and a few of the gun-indifferent converted.


One convert: Baptist church secretary and crocheting devotee Janette G. Sullivan of East Hartford. Her new love for automatic weapons blossomed as she hunched over a Browning M-2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun and fired off 40 deafening rounds.


Dusting off her long khaki skirt and adjusting her cardigan over her mauve turtleneck, Sullivan stepped away from the weapon with a broad smile.


"It was really fun," the bespectacled mother of two said yesterday, yelling over the relentless rat-a-tat-tat erupting around her. "I liked it so much, I went back a second time."


Targets included an 18-foot fiberglass boat, a couple of old Buicks, some empty propane tanks and many, many pumpkins. The event drew hundreds of gun enthusiasts from across New England and beyond. It was sponsored by the sportsman's club and Cop Firearms and Training, a private instruction company.


Certified firearms instructors ushered hundreds of veteran and neophyte shooters up to an array of firepower lined up at four ranges at the sportsman's club for just the cost of the ammo. Weaponry included M-60 medium machine guns, high-power rifles, cannon and vintage models dating back to World War I.


Rental fees ran from $20 to $200, said event founder Edward B. Fleury, a club member and police chief in Pelham. Fleury said it was designed to promote firearm education and safety. Plus, plenty of people want to gawk at guns featured only in movies and on the History Channel.


"If Custer had one of those, Little Big Horn would have changed," Fleury said of the machine gun Sullivan fired earlier.


Gun lovers of all ages and expertise levels came out to the shooting range on Westfield's north side. National high-power rifle champion Norman G. Houle, of West Warwick, R.I., supervised his 11-year-old son yesterday as the boy fired an M-60. "It was great," little Norman A. Houle said during a break, a smudge of gunfire residue across his cheek. "I like it because it just keeps shooting and shooting."


Calling on his marksman genes, the child was one of just a few to hit strategically placed cans of Tannerite, a contact explosive that sent plumes of smoke into the air when they blew.

Nearby, junkyard owner and cannon collector Greg Bodytko of New Haven, Conn., estimated he and his friends would spend $2,000 to $3,000 on ammunition at the event.


"But that's entertainment for five people," he said.


www.masslive.com/hampfrank/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1099212361119190.xml

Sorry guys! No pics with the article.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 1:03:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hipster:
Nearby, junkyard owner and cannon collector Greg Bodytko of New Haven, Conn., estimated he and his friends would spend $2,000 to $3,000 on ammunition at the event.



Spending those tax cuts and revitalizing the economy
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 1:05:38 PM EST
I went to that machine-gun shoot when I lived in MA. It was a lot of fun. Got to shoot a MP-5, M-60, and a BAR there.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 1:07:08 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 1:10:27 PM EST
Photos?
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 1:20:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hipster:


"If Custer had one of those, Little Big Horn would have changed," Fleury said of the machine gun Sullivan fired earlier.




Actually, didn't Custer have the option of bringing Gatling guns along with him but refused to do so?
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 1:49:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
Photos?

photos of gunz are banned in MA.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 1:53:52 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 1:55:05 PM EST
you can own full autos in MA?
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 2:21:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
you can own full autos in MA?



yes, it's a pain in the ass and there are a few more hoops you have to jump through, but it is possible.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 3:45:23 PM EST

Contrary to popular belief, yup. There's an additional hoop that you have to jump through, there's a license called a "green card" that you need to be a civvie with MGs here.

And they come down hard on C3 dealers with no storefront.
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