So, trying to work my way into summer, and scrolling through my phone for some updates to post for “Lights, Sirens and Cigars”, I found this frozen little goodie.
Back in early February, my Military Police detachment did a batch of annual requalifications (though we try to have range days at least every six months, and many of us wish for and recommend much more than that, especially for some of those that don’t shoot on their own). But, a range day in February? Sure, great idea – it’s the dead-middle of winter, everything’s frozen solid, the wind is bitter cold…let’s go to the range and shoot shit! LOL. The range guys did give us props though – we were the only boneheads crazy enough to do a range day basically since New Year’s, due to how bitterly cold, frozen and windy January and February had been. That day in particular was somewhere in the nature of -20 or -25 Celsius or so, and a 25-30 kph wind cutting across the landscape. While it sucked, all in all though, it was a good test of men (and lady) and gear.
Anywho, I have a few pics and vids I can share here. The colourful balloons are so that members can see the targets (white and cream coloured, in the main) against a snowy background. Plus, it makes it fun when things go pop (even though it’s only a visual cue, as you can’t hear it over the gunfire).
If I recall correctly, this was all done with C8 carbines (firing 30-round mags of 5.56 mm NATO rounds, with no tracer rounds; these are basically the same as a U.S. M4, the carbine version of an M-16 / AR-15), C6 light machine guns (basically the same as a U.S. M249 S.A.W., firing 220-round belts of 5.56 mm NATO rounds, with a tracer round once every five bullets) and with one C9 medium machine gun (the same also as a U.S. M240B, firing 7.62 mm NATO in 220-round belts as well, and same with one tracer every five bullets). After we finished our C8 carbine shoot at 50 and 100 meters or so, I believe we had 6 or 7 shooting positions for the light and heavy machine guns, back at 200 meters I think, with all positions being C6 and only one C9 (yes, you can hear the difference in the audio).
Of special note, take a listen to the last few seconds in that first video. As I was in the backstop / butts area (kind of a cement reinforced trench below the shooting lanes), I was getting some camera shots of the balloon carnage (kinda funny how the wind and bad visibility played havoc with us all in only that distancing). However, in those last few seconds of that first vid, with the big dirt berm / hill “backstop” being frozen relatively solid, it was getting filled up with more and more lead…and then the ricochets REALLY started. A deflection came back and landed right near my feet. With a slight delay, because I was really kind of “what the fuck was that?!?!?!”, off goes the camera as my sphincter clenched even more in the cold, and I ran my ass laterally away as quick as I could down to the other end of the butts. I was then able to see the tracer fire of how crazy the ricochets were getting. In the second video, if you expand the video size, I believe you’ll be able to see them too, and you can definitely hear when some more come back off the backstop. And you can really hear the C6 / C9 – 5.56mm / 7.62mm difference in the bap-bap-bap-bap sounds of the guns in the distance.
But…a fun, frozen day nonetheless. As a co-worker said, “it’s always fun to fire thousands of rounds through the big bitch”! LOL.