Let the festivities begin: the day-long Knob Creek machine gun shoot [SLIDESHOW]

Jeff Winkler Contributor
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BULLITT County, Ky. – There’s nothing ironic about the county where the nation’s largest machine gun shoot takes place. The machine gun enthusiasts go through thousands upon thousands of bullets — in the course of a few minutes.

The line at the main range and down the road were “hot” all day. Rarely was there a moment of quiet, especially when they turned on the external power source for the “minigun,” which can fire off anywhere between 2,000 to 6,000 rounds per minute.

And then there was the night shoot. Oh, the night shoot. As the sun went down, cars and boats were loaded up on the far side of the range. It hadn’t rained in Bullitt County in the past two months so there were murmurs that the night shoot featuring flares and tracers wouldn’t happen.

Tracers are bullets made with small, colorful explosives placed at the base. When you fire one of those puppies, it lights up the bullet’s entire, sometime scary-crazy trajectory. Traditionally, the military uses the tracers in their weapons to ensure they’re aiming in the right direction and a tracer bullet is only used every 5th round.

It’s an amazing night-time spectacle, especially when someone hits the targets just right, sending a huge fireball at least three-stories high and warming the far-away audience, at least momentarily.

Here are some of the highlights from the past two days of shooting. The camera work might be a little shaky, but that’s going to happen when one gets hit with a sonic boom.