There is something about the sound of automatic gunfire on the shooting range that is sure to get the attention of recreational shooters. The pop-pop-pop of a semi-automatic firearm is inviting, but the poppoppoppoppop of something fully automatic will draw shooters from every corner of the range. Some folks will show up just to watch the fun, but the rest will hope for an invitation to join in the fun.
Throw in a few busloads of outdoor writers, and things are bound to get crowded and even entertaining.
That is what happened Monday at the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club in Boulder City, the location of media day for the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show taking place this week at the Sands Expo Convention Center. Sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind and attracts manufacturers, retailers and members of the outdoor media from around the world. However, it is not a consumer show and, therefore, is not open to the public.
Perhaps 200 writers were waiting in the registration line when we heard the first burst of gunfire. Poppoppoppoppop. And that was all it took to increase the anticipation of writers already anxious to get busy on the ranges of their equivalent to Disneyland.
By the time we picked up our credentials and followed the sound of automatic gunfire to its origin, my friends and I found a growing line of writers stacking up outside the shooting range from whence the poppoppoppoppop was emanating. Some just wanted to observe, but the rest hoped to join in the fun, me included. But rather than finding the opportunity to shoot a fully automatic firearm, we found something called the Slide Stock, a product of Slide Fire Solutions.
Introduced in mid-2011, the Slide Stock is an aftermarket conversion that enables an AR-15 or AK-47 to cycle in excess of 400 rounds per minute, but the gun still is functioning as a semi-automatic action.
“Every time he shoots, he’s actuating the trigger there. So it’s completely legal,” creator Jeremiah Cottle said while pointing to a shooter with a 100-round belt through his rifle’s action. “We have an ATF letter stating that it’s completely legal.”
Cottle said he has subjected his product to the scrutiny of several state departments of justice, and the results all have been positive.
“The only complaint we have received from anybody is that they shoot too much ammunition,” Cottle said.
The Slide Stock is built on the “bump fire” concept that some shooters have played with for years, but with the Slide Stock, the shooter fires from a normal shooting position. This enables the shooter to maintain muzzle control during the firing process. The stock is designed so it “allows the gun to recoil back into the stock to give you the separation between your trigger finger and your trigger, so the trigger can reset,” Cottle explained. “And (it) allows you to apply forward pressure in one direction, rather than having to pull and release like you would with a normal trigger.”
Rather than squeezing the trigger to fire a rifle on which the Slide Stock is attached, you simply put about 5 to 7 pounds of forward pressure on the hand guard and push it forward until the trigger comes in contact with your finger. As long as forward pressure is applied, the rifle will continue to cycle. I shot two 30-round magazines through an AR-15 and quickly learned to control the number of rounds fired.
The Slide Stock comes in multiple color variations, and shooting with it was worth the wait.
Freelance writer Doug Nielsen is a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. His “In the Outdoors” column, published Thursday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is not affiliated with or endorsed by the NDOW. Any opinions he states in his column are his own. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.