The Full-Auto Experience

It’s another busy day at Center Target Sports in Post Falls, Idaho, a 16,000-square-foot facility that includes an indoor shooting range with 15 lanes. Some customers are at the gun counter, others mill around the aisles looking over merchandize. But all heads pop up when the sound of a full-auto “wham-wham-wham-wham” comes from the shooting range.

Yup, that was a machine gun, a staffer tells customers. “You want to try one out yourself?”

In the last year, Center Targetbegan offering rentals of fully automatic machine guns on their range. For $35, customers can rent a 9mm machine gun and burn through 50 rounds of ammunition; $45 for the same in a .45 caliber model.

“We have people who come in all the time, and say to us, ‘Here’s $300—let me know when I run out of ammo,’” says Center Target Sport’s owner Ed Santos.

Center Target is also fighting the international trade imbalance. Located just 100 miles south of the Canadian border, Center Target Sports has had over 400 Canadian citizens visit the facility specifically to have a “full-auto” experience, something they can’t legally do in their home country.

Ranges that rent the full-auto experience are found across the country, from Midwest Gun And Range in Elkhart, Indiana to Lock and Load Miami in south Florida.

But the rockin' center of magazine dumping has to be Las Vegas, Nevada, where at least 10 facilities provide a full-automatic venue. One such popular spot is Battlefield Vegas, with over 350 full-auto firearms that customers can rent, singly or in creative packages: customers can plunk down $129 for the "D-Day Experience" and get a taste of the 1944 Normandy landing via Allied Forces weaponry: 15 rounds through a Colt 1911 pistol; 24 rounds with an M1 Garand; and a full-auto Thompson sub-machinegun and 50 rounds. At Battlefield, you can even shoot an actual mini-gun, as you can see in the video above.

Video gamers can get the same firearms featured in games like “Counter Strike” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops” in the “Counter Strike Extreme” package. For $695.95, you not only fire off more than 200 rounds of centerfire ammunition, much of it through a variety of full-auto firearms—you also send a grenade downrange through an M203 grenade launcher!