Knob Creek....questions


September 20, 2014, 10:26 PM
(Mods, I could not figure if this forum or the NFA forum would be the place to post this, so move it if necessary.)

I'm not an owner of NFA stuff, but I read that the Knob Creek machine gun gathering in Kentucky is a neat event. Seriously thinking about going in a few weeks if I can wangle out of work. I mentioned it to family and I already have crew forming to ride up and check it out. :D My dad in particular seems eager to go. He's a 80 year old combat vet from the Korean War and saw and did stuff he won't talk about, but loves military history and hardware. Little bro and his boy are also chomping the bits.

Anyway....having never been to this event, I'd like to know (from those who've attended) about parking, hotels, fees, what to bring, etc. I even heard they rent NFA stuff on the firing line? Sounds expensive, but fun. (always wanted to fire a FA least one magazine's worth....a bucket list thing for me.) :) Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.

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September 20, 2014, 10:40 PM
Parking sucks. Plan to walk at least a half mile in. Hotels are nearly nonexistent unless you drive back to one of the towns about 20-30 min away. The crowd is ridiculous and the big spectator shoots are shoulder to shoulder where you can't see a whole lot...with that said it's absolutely worth going. If you manage to make the trip be there Saturday night for the "night shoot" where it's about half tracers and explosions everywhere. The rental firing line is very expensive but if all your after is checking a box on the bucket list then it's worth the $60 for a Thompson mag.

September 20, 2014, 11:46 PM
I went to Knob Creek last year. They do have bus service so you don't have to walk all that far. Now once you are there you are going to be walking. The sheer number of full auto firearms is mind boggling. If they made it; it is there and it works.
Take ear protection as you will need it. Take some cash so you can rent one or two of your chosing. Stay late. The best part starts after dark. Find a hotel somewhere nearby (5-10 miles is reasonable).
Your Dad is gonna love it.

September 20, 2014, 11:53 PM
Thanks guys. I was concerned about a long walk for my pop. He is in good shape for his age, but a half mile, there and back and milling around all day might tax him. Glad they have shuttle. The Saturday night thing sounds interesting. Hope I can take off to check it out.

September 20, 2014, 11:59 PM
it's a lot of fun

they do rent stuff, but it's on a separate line. my advice would be to bring $$ and plan to walk around the gun show during the day, then hang out for the night shoot. that's the best part.

September 21, 2014, 12:03 AM
Ok, you know how you get that feeling sometimes that you're just plain "gunned out?" Like you've seen too many and heard too many rounds go off and just had too much of gunsmoke and concussion?

No? You don't?

You will! :D

It's awesome, but if you do the whole 3 days you will be pretty much numb by the end of it! You'll be almost sick of seeing the coolest guns you always wanted to see, the wildest stuff you didn't know existed, and people blowing money off at a rate that will make your knees buckle.

The night shoot will give you a whole new level of appreciation for movie scenes you've watched. (I was amazed at the HEAT a line of machine guns and ... other stuff... puts off!)

And don't miss the chance to take Red Horse Aviation's special tour! :)


Also to do: Take a ride up to Louisville and catch the Frasier museum: Seriously. GO. The perfect counterpoint for when your ears have just plain had it with gunfire.

And you can slip over to the Patton Museum ( Just be aware, when you take the exit to enter, you will find yourself entering Ft. Knox. Find someplace to leave your guns. The guards are very nice about it, but you ain't gettin' in with machine guns. :) (Ask me how I know....)

September 21, 2014, 02:22 AM
Knob Creek is really three events in one: the main range, a second, less formal range, and the gun show (aka "the Pole Barn").

Spots on the firing line of the main range are spoken for years in advance. Your best bet there is to be a spectator.

The second range (of which I have no direct experience) is where you go if you are a newcomer and have brought your own FA gun, or wish to rent one. All I know is that it's off in the woods somewhere. (If you are bringing an FA gun from outside Kentucky, be sure to get ATF permission in advance. That should go without saying. It's probably too late to apply now.)

Personally, I go for the gun show. It's definitely worth the trip if you're looking for FA or military stuff. It's not a question of bargains (the stuff is pricey), but rather availability. You'll find things there that you will find nowhere else.

Since I go for the shopping, I find all the shooting on the adjoining main range to be a distraction. It's so loud that it's hard to talk over it when you are trying to make deals!

To beat the traffic and get a decent parking space, I make a point of arriving as early as possible on Friday morning. The official starting time is 9:00 a.m., but you should get there well before that. That means that you should stay overnight in a nearby motel, if you are coming from any distance.

Be warned that you will encounter noise, mud (especially in the spring), and dust (especially in the fall). Bring hearing protection, duck shoes, and soap, water, and towels to wash up before leaving. Otherwise you will be uncomfortable on the drive home.

September 21, 2014, 10:36 AM
I have been going to the event for almost 15 years and the folks there keep trying to make improvements every year. It's well worth the trip just to see stuff that you would only see on the History channel. I've got pics of privately owned howitzers and GE mini guns on the line.

As for parking for your pop, they have a reserved handicap parking next to the gate getting in and continuous shuttle service all over the grounds. Just flag anyone of them down. They are all great folks who put this on, from the parking to the retail.

Dress appropriatly, but realize that this time of year here in KY the weather changes hourly at times so plan for anything.

Kenny even keeps the food and pop reasonable.

One additional word, kenny serves a great breakfast starting at 7a.

September 21, 2014, 10:59 AM
A second thought on know is that it's quite likely the best place in the world to find refurbished military mule vehicles and other military vehicles.

September 21, 2014, 11:29 AM
Use a 4x4 vehicle(winch/ tow rope)
Bring lotsa cash
Rain poncho
Ruck sack
Bring lotas cash
Good boots/socks/foot powder
Sunscreen/skeeter juice
Floppy sun hat
Bring lotsa cash
Comm gear
Ear eye protection a MUST even when walking past the main firing line.
Bring lotsa cash
Good flashlites

Its a large event.parking sucks.Can be very soft and muddy.If no rain expect a lot of dust.You will do a lot of walking,not too many places to sit down.
Yes you can rent full auto stuff and shop until you drop,bring more money than water and food.
Get there before opening in the AM if you want to get into the upper lot.The lower lot can turn into a mud bog and regular cars will get stuck,even many 4x4 if the rain comes.

Did I remind you to bring a ton of cash??

September 21, 2014, 12:56 PM
Thanks for the additional insight.

The gun show sounds interesting too. Dad would really dig that too.

The night stuff sounds like fun, but I may avoid that. My pop doesn't discuss much about bad stuff in the war, but what I do know he has had PTSD events in his life. Some of the more troubling were night events. Plus, he's early rise, early to bed type fellow.

The recurrence of the words "bring money" are most scary, though. :D

September 21, 2014, 01:31 PM
Somebody say bring money? Double whatever you were thinking of bringing, and have some extra room in the car to bring goodies back home with you. :D

September 21, 2014, 01:42 PM
Tinker,additional insights:

Hotels/motels in the area are probably booked in Shepherdsville,this IS a very popular event and people come from all over the world. You will have to probably look further back toward Indiana. If you have to stay in some of the seedy places in IN (just past the river) I would advise being armed.

Also be aware that there are folks with MULES that drive around and work for tips or rental to carry weary Creekers or heavy ammo loads back to the parking areas. Its well worth it.

There is a gun shop on premise with a chow hall. Lines for food can be long at peak times. There are hot dog/beverage trucks in a few spots and normally plenty of porta-johns.

There are various shooting matches you can watch or attend.The SMG matches are really fun to watch.

It can be chilly early in the AM and late at night this time of year. If you have never seen the night shoot its well worth it. Eyes and Ears!!

Plenty of combat vets down there that seem to cope with the small arms fire and explosions. I have been with guys right back from Iraq and Afghanistan that couldnt wait to go to the Creek. Your Dad being a Korean war vet should be able to handle it.

You are really close to FT. Knox and have the Patton Museum and US CAV store close by.

Oh yes,your vehicle better be big enough for goodies.

September 21, 2014, 03:13 PM
Before you leave, buy a Knob Creek t-shirt.

September 21, 2014, 09:54 PM
Patton museum...more money....tee shirts....more money.....Ft armed for seedy hotels in Indiana and more money. Think I got it. :)

September 21, 2014, 10:31 PM
it's quite likely the best place in the world to find refurbished military mule vehicles and other military vehicles.

For that, I would recommend the Military Vehicle Preservation Association's annual East Coast Rally held every May in Aberdeen, Maryland. And also the MVPA's annual convention, held in the summer in different cities on a rotational basis.

The last time I was at Aberdeen, somebody had an entire flatbed semitrailer loaded with Mules for sale. (Not my cup of tea, but a lot of people apparently like them.)

September 21, 2014, 11:15 PM
Probably the same flatbed that goes to knob. Not my cup of tea either but I wouldn't mind it if a recoilless rifle were mounted on top. That brings back memories from contract work in anniston. It's not classified but I don't feel I should share that experience here...some of the low level classified/restricted stuff was cool enough to scare me of what the highest level stuff might be.

September 22, 2014, 01:28 AM
Never been to Knob Creek, but I've gone to the Saddle Butte MG shoot a bunch of times. All I can say is my face hurts for a day after grinning so much. Were I to get to Knob Creek, I figure my face would hurt for a week! It is a serious hoot to fire the guns you see in films or TV. Pay the cash and relish the opportunity. BTW, Tylenol works for sore face syndrome. :D

September 22, 2014, 10:24 AM
Patton Museum is free admission. They do have a donation box as you walk in. Gift shop is where more of your moola will go. If you have time I highly recommend taking a look if you like history.

September 22, 2014, 10:44 AM
Reasons to go to Knob Creek:

'Nuff Said.

September 22, 2014, 04:52 PM
It sounds like fun... I would suggest your dad wear something to show his service. Most firearm folks are very respectful to service personal. Esp elderly.

IF you just want to handle, shoot some full auto stuff. There are many places you can. Many closer to your home. I recall in FL I fired a couple full auto. As well in Vegas where they let me try a variety and huge discount. IIRC I did the MP-5 (not the SD version which I love), a Thompson with stick mags, and full auto AR with ammo for less then $100. Two mags each.

They guy went back with H&K saw I was safe, said just come up unloaded when I wanted next, sing out if any issues, and let me shread targets. He went back to loading mags, other in shop.

IMO the Thompson SMG is heavy, bulky for what it is. I have been loaned a MP-5 (and a SD) in past. If legal in MN I would be so tempted to get it.

September 24, 2014, 10:02 PM
I went in 2000, and loved it. My wife even loved it, and she just went along for the ride.

One of the best gun shows I've been to, and at the time it was flowing with surplus gunpowder in large cans. Ammo was dirt cheap and plentiful.

There was a tent with ammo on pallets, piled up to the ceiling of the tent. It was a really large tent. By the end of the weekend, the pallets were about empty.

My favorite thing was the mini gun. Is that thing slick! Doesn't even sound like a gun. It was $75 to shoot 75 rounds, and it took about as much time to shoot 75 rounds as it does to say 75 rounds. I would not want to have one shooting at me.

As others said, bring good shoes, eyes and ears, and lots of money. You won't be sorry.

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